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“Millions for Rawi’s wife but none for scholarships,” says Kamla

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Trinidad and Tobago: The obscene revelation that the Office of the Prime Minister has retained the legal services of the law firm belonging to the wife of Attorney General Faris Al Rawi, demonstrates the Rowley PNM’s flagrant conduct in using public office to enrich their friends and financiers, said leader of Opposition, Kamla Persad Bissessar in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“Keith Rowley must explain to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago why yet again, potentially millions of dollars will be going from taxpayers into the pockets of Faris Al Rawi’s family,” she added.

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What makes this latest PNM insider deal all the more repugnant is the fact that the Attorney General’s wife has been hired to fight the families of children demanding an equitable share of scholarship funds.

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Without any sense of shame, in a letter dated April 12th 2021, the law firm of Al Wari, Haynes-Soo Hon and Co, told the attorney working on behalf of children denied scholarships that “we are unable to accept your client’s tendentiously framed claim that it has acquired a legitimate expectation that scholarships would continue to be awarded on the basis of merit and academic achievement as opposed to other arbitrary and subjective criteria.”

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Lambasting PM Rowley, Kamla further added that, “Through his latest self-serving act, Keith Rowley is telling the nation that the state cannot afford to help the children from poor families access scholarships, but there is however millions of taxpayer dollars to pay the family of his own Attorney General.”

“The Attorney General’s weak defence in claiming his ministry is not involved in this, reeks of the same desperate excuses of him saying he recused himself from Cabinet while his colleagues approved the state rental of his properties to the tune of millions of dollars.”

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“Is this why the PNM gutted the Procurement Act and removed all transparency regarding legal fees paid by the state? To hand out taxpayer dollars to members of the PNM Wives Club?” she asked.

She said that the Attorney General continues to degrade and diminish the respect, authority and integrity that comes with the Office of the AG with this repeated “milking” of the treasury to benefit his family.

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In any other part of the world, a sitting AG’s wife receiving state legal briefs from the government would not only be wholly condemned but avoided at all costs, but under Rowley’s PNM, anything goes once it benefits their friends, family and financiers.

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