Moonilal challenges PM to show full SSA audit report and have it placed before the JSC

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Moonilal challenges PM to show full SSA audit report and have it placed before the JSC

Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal, has challenged the Prime Minister to show the public the full audit report on the Strategic Services Agency (SSA), and send it to Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on National Security.

The PM, Dr Keith Rowley, delivered a statement in Parliament on Wednesday on the findings of the audit done in March.
The probe, he said, revealed increased purchases by the SSA intelligence agency of weapons from 2017 to 2022, including military-grade weapons and large amounts of ammunition.

Rowley said it had also been discovered that the SSA was infiltrated by people belonging to a cult.

However, Moonilal, said,”If something so bombastic occurred, it occurred under the watch of the National Security Council and the National Security Minister, who have statutory oversight for the SSA.”

“The actual report of Major (Ret) Brigadier Anthony Phillips-Spencer, who did the audit, must be laid in Parliament and produced to the public for us to look at. One can never tell what the basis of that report is—did they interview people? Did people make submissions orally or in writing? Have they consulted the Auditor General who has oversight for statutory organisations like SAA?

“Dr Rowley spoke of an ‘attempted coup,’ then one should ask him if he’s prepared to undertake a commission of enquiry into the SSA’s ‘attempted coup’ as was done for the 1990 coup attempt.”

Moonilal said the “SSA people” may not know it, but the SSA was used as a training agency for approximately eight different law enforcement divisions, including the TTPS.

“So if SSA ramped up weapons and ammunition, everything must have been done with a paper trail and accountability of some kind, and that requires a deeper independent public investigation to ascertain whether or not Dr Rowley is telling the truth because Dr Rowley has reached the point where nobody believes him anymore. Never forget he told T&T they’re not closing down Petrotrin.”

Moonilal said the Government has now embarked on a pattern of proposing external civilian personnel to conduct sensitive investigations, “arrive at conclusions, then keep the reports secret and reveal them in Parliament, where they’re protected by privilege. Very damaging statements on personnel and events, all in secret reports, which they then use as a basis for policy and personnel change and changing laws.”

He said, “One has to be extremely careful and sensitive to this pattern of dictatorship where secret reports become the basis for public policy. We saw it in the change of law with the Legal Affairs Ministry’s Solicitor General’s office, with the change in the Firearms Users Licence issue, and now with this gun talk about the SSA and ‘coup’.”