Maharaj says Persad-Bissessar wanted to ‘bring down the PM’ with fake oil claims against A&V

Maharaj says Persad-Bissessar wanted to ‘bring down the PM’ with fake oil claims against A&V

Former Attorney General, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj said nothing can totally compensate for the injustice that A&V Oil and Gas Ltd and its owner suffered on the basis of a reckless statement made by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

His statement follows the recent win by A&V as it fought against Petrotrin over fake oil allegations, which were initiated by Persad-Bissessar

Maharaj said the termination of A&V by Petrotrin was influenced by politics and motivated by the Opposition leader to “bring down the Prime Minister,” as the owner of A&V, Hanif Nazim Baksh, is a friend of the Prime Minister.

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At a virtual news conference on Wednesday, Maharaj said Persad-Bissessar “saw this as raw politics and did not appear to care for whether the allegations were true or false. It suited her politics to be able to go at the Prime Minister and obviously did not care whether, in doing that, it would have damaged and possibly destroyed Mr Baksh’s reputation and destroy the commercial reputation of A&V.
“This was not right. It was wrong. It was cheap politics.”

Maharaj said after 50 years in legal practice, he did not understand how a state company, without any substantial evidence could implicate a man and his company on her allegations of being paid hefty sums for supplying “fake oil” to Petrotrin. To go so far as to break and destroy the company and the lives of people.

Maharaj said Petrotrin never gave A&V the opportunity to be heard or debunk the “unsubstantiated” claims even though the contract between the two parties said, in case of a dispute, resolutions should be attempted by mediation or arbitration .

He said the public should be given an opportunity to assess whether Petrotrin was justified in terminating A&V’s contract and seeking legal recourse by having the arbitration documents laid in the Parliament.

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