Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has urged authorities to ensure former PNM Government minister Marlene McDonald receives proper medical care since she said she was aware McDonald suffered from illnesses.
After learning that McDonald had fallen ill after she was slapped with seven charges, Persad-Bissessar said via a statement, “Anyone can appreciate this will be a very trying time for her.”
“Minister McDonald’s health is paramount and I do hope she recovers well so she can have her fair day in court,” Persad-Bissessar said.
McDonald was admitted to the St Clair Medical Centre yesterday morning after she complained of feeling unwell. She had been in police custody since Thursday morning.
In Persad-Bissessar’s first comment on the McDonald development, the UNC leader added, “(Yesterday) the nation awoke to the sad news that Ms McDonald was being charged with money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Government and misbehaviour in public office. Our justice system dictates that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, that is the foundation of our justice system.”
She added: “Mob justice is an affront to the principles of democracy that our country is built on. Minister McDonald is entitled to a fair trial where she can defend herself against the accusations and at the end, justice will be done by the courts. This is not a matter for gloating, insults, and judgement. Therefore I caution restraint as this matter is now subjudice.”
“We must always strive to avoid hate, bitterness and out of control rhetoric and instead seek to show compassion, love, and humanity to others especially in their times of misfortune. Only then as a society can we move forward together as one people.”
UNC MP Roodal Moonilal said the issue concerning McDonald was a “wake-up call for all political recruits.”
“It’s always regrettable when these things happen as people in public life carry a higher duty, so it’s also a wake-up call for all in politics and those who aspire to it, that no one is above the law,” Moonilal said.
But Moonilal said the PNM has no moral authority to condemn anyone adding that he’d make an effort to contact McDonald as soon as the matter settles since he knew she’s been plagued with health issues over the years.