PNM MP: Protect intelligence agencies

In making this appeal, Imbert said he hopes to raise a motion to that effect in the House of Representatives on Friday, following the conclusion of debate on the Interception of Communications Bill which aims to regulate wiretapping.

“I hope the end result of this is not the dismantling of our intelligence gathering capabilities,” he said. Stating that intelligence gathering was an essential tool in the war against crime, Imbert disclosed: “A friend of my family was kidnapped and she was recovered through electronic surveillance.”

Asked if he felt his rights were violated, Imbert replied: “The problem is that I don’t know what to believe. I have no evidence that my phone was wiretapped. I would have thought that if my phone was being wiretapped, somebody would have told me. I didn’t hear that for eight years.” He added that if his phone was tapped, “there would have been nothing I said on the phone that would have created a problem for anyone.”

Imbert also expressed uncertainty that any of the persons who were under surveillance by the SIA could sue the agency. “I’m not aware that there is any law against wiretapping. In the Constitution, people are guaranteed the right to privacy.

There’s a point of view that the only action anyone can take is to file a constitutional motion and say that their constitutional rights have been infringed,” he explained. Imbert said issue of surveillance was raised via a private motion in Parliament in 1997, after then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday told a public meeting that he had “infiltrated” the PNM and during the “leadership struggle” between then PNM leader Patrick Manning and Dr Keith Rowley, who was also under surveillance by the SIA.


"PNM MP: Protect intelligence agencies"

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