Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is concerned that he may be debarred from speaking in the "fake oil" scandal court matter in which he was recently sued by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
On January 8, Rowley commenced legal proceedings against Moonilal for his "reckless and "unverified" allegations involving the PM in respect to the fake oil scandal.
On October 9, 2018, Moonilal contributing to the Budget debate in Parliament allleged that instructions were given for the transfer of funds to a bank in Florida in which there were two beneficiaries—one Vidya Deokiesingh and the other a "Member of the House," whom he identified as K-E-I-T-H R-O-W-L-E-Y.
Yesterday, Moonilal admitted he received the 38-page claim form from Rowley's attorney which he described as a "no-case submission and weak". Moonilal said he regretted hiring two Queen's Counsels one of whom is Richard Clayton, and Anand Ramlogan, SC, after reading the claim form.
I could have done this (case) with Randall Mitchell and Fitzgerald Hinds. I feel sorry for Dr Rowley because he said I injured and hurt him," Moonilal said.
Moonilal said the PM's attorney has asked the court "to grant an injunction" to prevent him from speaking in the court matter.
"This is the head of the Government asking the court to injunct an MP from speaking. It is the first time in the Commonwealth something like this is taking place. It is very dangerous and diabolical that a Prime Minister is asking the court to injunct an MP from speaking. If it is the order of the court, then I will so comply."
The injunction, Moonilal said, was one way to muzzle him.
Moonilal said while Rowley in his claim has presented himself as an anti-corruption buster, "he is asking the court to silence me from speaking on issues of corruption".
Moonilal said such a move was a "paradox".
Moonilal also expressed concern that the Government may take action to confiscate his passport to prevent him from travelling to the US, where he is expected to speak on the fake oil scandal.
"I also need to go to Miami to retrieve more documents for the case."
Moonilal said there was a deliberate attempt by the PNM Government to undermine his character and integrity.
"They have targeted me as their public enemy number one."
As Moonilal gets set to file his claim which has to be submitted in a few days, he expressed confidence.
"I don't see it as a weighty and heavy matter. We hoping by mid-year this matter could be before the court. Again, the lawyers may well decide they do not want to proceed with the trial. They want to pursue a strikeout action as the matter is so frivolous and vexatious that you can strike it out before going for a trial."