Former attorney general Faris Al-Rawi has revealed he received "live threats" during the Piarco Airport civil matter but despite the obstacles, he said he fearlessly pursued the case, which the Government eventually lost.
Speaking at a PNM political meeting at the San Fernando City Hall on Thursday night, Al-Rawi said he did the case at the risk of his personal safety.
"With the help of Minister Stuart Young, we developed a package of laws called Follow the Money and we found white-collar crime," Al-Rawi told the gathering.
Al-Rawi said in 2015, he met the Piarco Airport matter.
"Criminal proceedings began in Miami from 2005 to 2017. The civil matter had started and we got a judgment. In prosecuting that, I was getting live threats made to me as to why I should stay out," he revealed.
He noted that when the UNC took office in 2010, "the Piarco civil matter went to bed."
"They couldn't get instructions from the then Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. Worse yet, five people gave witness evidence, they pleaded guilty and confessed to how they thief the people's money. Not a small thief you know. And this is not me saying so, the US District Attorneys heard the evidence," Al-Rawi said.
He added: "Millions of US dollars came into T&T. Kamla Persad-Bissessar was well aware the matter was alive, extradition proceedings and she was well aware of the civil claim."
Al-Rawi said despite the intimidation, he did his duty.
"For seven years as the AG, we fought on all battlefronts. Laws to protect children, laws for a better economy; transparency in expenditure; cannabis laws and laws for a criminal justice system."
He said the PNM delivered local government reform after 1.1 million submissions and after 33,000 in-person consultants.
Al-Rawi also said the San Fernando City Corporation was the best-performing council in local government, noting that there are $256 million in projects in the pipeline right now. He noted that the Public Procurement law will be applied, which means that contractors have to "up their game" as it relates to local content. He revealed that San Fernando has already seen over $1 billion in development projects.
"We are reclaiming 3.8 hectares of land at the waterfront where the jetty is, where the Customs' new building opened. We have a fishing depot, where we having a consultation, that will cost $38 million, coastal protection ongoing is $67 million; Lady Hailes widening is $136 million, squatter relocation is $43 million, and PTSC relocation was $15 million," he said.
He also said the housing at the PTSC site will cost $207 million, while the Plaza San Carlos project at King's Wharf will cost $61 million. The Skinner Park stadium, he said, cost $160 million, the hospital car park cost $140 million, while the WASA wastewater treatment plant will cost $654 million.
Also speaking at the meeting were San Fernando East MP Brian Manning and Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell. Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein and Energy Minister Stuart Young also attended the meeting.