Warner is currently out of the country attending to official duties with the opening of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa on Friday. Speaking to the media following the launch of the national clean-up and beautification programme at the Ministry of Works, Richmond Street yesterday, Persad-Bissessar said: “I’ve asked the Attorney General to make enquiries into the matter and he is proceeding. Even before the issue arose I asked the AG to look into the matter. We don’t want to be out there doing what should not be done.”
She said Warner was a “maverick” and this trait was what people loved about him. “He gets things done. He can work. I am sure we will look at it. If there is no legal impediment then it will be a matter of using time. Mr Warner is a person who works 18 hours a day, public holidays, 24-7.”
She said if there was any area within the Westminster system which precluded a minister from holding positions in the public and private sector then she was sure the appropriate action will be taken. She believed Warner would do the “appropriate” thing in the circumstances. Persad-Bissessar said the government was new and transitional arrangements had to be made by members.
“Mr Warner had commitments to the Word Cup. It is a massive exercise. He is honouring those commitments. We are very proud of him in that regard. In transition there will be quite a number of issues with ministers that must be resolved”.
Leader of the Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley, has referred the question of Warner’s involvement as a minister and FIFA official to the Integrity Commission for its deliberations.
Asked about the investigations into the Church being built at the Heights of Guanapo, Persad-Bissessar recalled that documents she presented at a media briefing (before the election) were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Integrity Commission for investigations. “We trust that they will do their jobs in conducting the investigation.”
Persad-Bissessar said she “did not know” if the investigation has started.
No government minister will be attending the Caricom meeting in Barbados on Thursday at which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be attending. Persad-Bissessar said TT will be represented by “technocrats” and a “policy decision” had been taken that no minister of government will proceed on foreign travel until after the parliament convened, and they were sworn in as parliamentarians.