Roget wants criminal charges against those found culpable in Paria tragedy

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Roget wants criminal charges against those found culpable in Paria tragedy

Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget has called for criminal charges to be laid against those found culpable in the Commission of Enquiry report into the Paria Diving tragedy.

Roget made the statement in a GML interview, following a press conference by the union on Thursday.

He also wants the CoE report into the Paria tragedy that claimed the lives of four divers to be made public and not sanitised.

He made the call for full disclosure hours after CoE chairman Jerome Lynch, KC, submitted the report to President Christine Kangaloo yesterday.

While addressing former Petrotrin workers and union members at the Pointe-a-Pierre roundabout to mark the fifth anniversary of Petrotrin’s closure on Thursday evening, Roget said, “I want you to join me in calling for that report to be made public. You see, there is this thing that they call redacted and sanitised and what they will put out and what they have their media friends assist them in putting out …”

Roget called for criminal charges against those found culpable in the report, saying they should be charged for negligence that resulted in the deaths of the divers.

He said it was also unfathomable to think” that the families of the divers would not receive compensation. He said the divers left home to go to work to earn an income to maintain their families.

Roget also maintained that had Petrotrin still been functional the divers would not have died due to the high level of health and safety standards practiced by the company.

The union leader maintains that TT is worse off without Petrotrin.

He said: “For the period 2019 to 2023–October 2019 to 30th September 2023–Paria would have lost some US$2,698,304,867. Instead of making Forex, Paria losing because of the price of what they import and they have to pay whatever the prices are on the international market …” In addition, he said people were being sold poor-quality fuel on the local market.

He said since Petrotrin’s closure the country has been grappling with scarce foreign exchange, unemployment, fuel increases, and deplorable roads because there is no bitumen.