PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday July 29, 2011 – The Integrity Commission has cleared Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of breaching the Integrity in Public Life Act when she stayed at the home of two friends whose family company won the bid for a multi-million-dollar government contract, after the 2010 general elections.
A complaint had been made to the Commission by the opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) which questioned whether Persad-Bissessar staying at the home of Ralph and Maureen Gopaul had anything to do with the family’s trucking company winning a TT$40 million (US$6.3 million) contract from state-owned National Petroleum.
The Prime Minister announced at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference that the Integrity Commission had found that her hands were clean.
She read from and showed members of the media a letter sent to her from the Commission, dated July 25, which stated in part: “The Integrity Commission has directed me to inform you that a letter of complaint alleging a breach of the Integrity in Public Life Act Chap 22:01, pertaining to your stay at the Gopaul’s residence at Pasea Road in Tunapuna has been received. The Commission has considered the matter and rejected the complaint.”
Persad-Bissessar said she was “very happy to have received this letter from the Integrity Commission which deals with this subject that has been in the public domain for quite some time now.”
The Prime Minister had admitted that the Gopauls were her friends and one of the reasons she stayed at their home was that she had received death threats.