August 8th, 2019 -The Police Service says officers have been investigating alleged corruption offences, and have arrested and taken into custody, Government Minister Marlene McDonald and her husband for questioning.
In a statement issues in the last hour, the duo was said to have been detained earlier today.
Enquiries are ongoing at this time and more information will be provided when it becomes available, it said.
And in her own statement on the matter, Minister of Communications Donna Cox, said she wished to confirm that a search warrant was executed at the minister’s home this morning.
Meanwhile, Newspower Now has learned from sources, that there has been no Cabinet meeting today, and as such there is to be no post-Cabinet news conference as might have been expected.
Minister McDonald spent the night last night at the St Joseph Police Station and is expected to be further questioned today regarding corruption allegations.
This was confirmed by her lawyer, Pamela Elder SC.
Mrs Elder told media outside the St Joseph Police Station last night that Mrs Mc Donald was not yet charged up to late last night but is expected to be held for further questioning today.
Meanwhile…Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he will not speculate on the political future of Government Minister Marlene Mc Donald after she was arrested yesterday and taken for questioning regarding corruption allegations.
Speaking with Guardian media yesterday, Dr Rowley said his actions will be guided by the course taken by the TTPS in its investigation.
Dr Rowley has seemingly sought to distance this cabinet from the actions of Mrs McDonald noting that the Calabar foundation issue arose under the Patrick Manning led administration.
He also sought to defend his decision to appoint Mrs McDonald to his cabinet, saying that her appointment was made based on the relevant information available to him.
However this was not Ms. McDonald’s first rodeo, back in 2017, it may have been the record for the shortest Ministerial appointment ever held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Just two days after being appointed Public Utilities Minister, Marlene McDonald was fired.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that Dr Keith Rowley advised President Anthony Carmona to revoke McDonald’s appointment with immediate effect.
McDonald was only sworn in on Friday, June 30, 2017, but became the subject of controversy as she was accompanied to her swearing-in ceremony by Cedric “Burkie” Burke who was in 2011 arrested and charged under the anti-gang law.
Back in 2017 Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley defended his decision to re-appoint Ms. McDonald, given her being all cleared of the 2008 allegations.
During the question and answer at the Post Cabinet meeting in 2017, the Prime Minister said he took full responsibility for re-appointing Ms. McDonald and said had he know before what would have taken place during the ceremony he would have made a different decision about her appointment as a Government Minister.
McDonald returned as a Minister despite being at the centre of a million dollar scandal and allegations back in 2008.