Rowley on Cummings suing the State: Every citizen has a right to defend themselves

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Rowley on Cummings suing the State: Every citizen has a right to defend themselves

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is not bothered by the fact that a member of his parliament is suing the State over a breach of his constitutional rights.

Youth Development Minister Foster Cummings has signalled his intentions to sue the State as a private citizen for misuse of private information, breach of confidence and breach of his constitutional right to privacy stemming from the leak of a secret Special Branch report in 2022.

His attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj subsequently explained in a media conference last weekend that the breach “scandalised the minister, caused him reputational damage and caused him and his family distress and embarrassment.”

However, when asked about the matter at the post-Cabinet media briefing on Thursday, Rowley said every citizen of this country has a right to defend themselves.

He added, “Let us not get carried away by who is suing who. When you get to court you have to have facts. It is a nice, cool, air-conditioned room, very quiet and you have to answer specific questions.”

When asked by media if he’s spoken to Cummings on the matter, he replied, “Not recently. I spoke to him initially when the matter came into the public domain about something that he might have done. I spoke to him and he showed me his documents and I was satisfied that his documents didn’t warrant my intervention in any way.”

The Prime Minister also rubbished claims that Cummings got his (Rowley’s) approval to sue the State. He said the minister does not need his approval to take legal action if he feels he had been wronged.