Young defends Cabinet's decision to appoint Mouttet as sole investigator into seabridge vessels

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 13:45

Stuart Young, Minister in The Office of the Prime Minister and Minister in the Ministry of Attorney General and Legal Affairs, has defended the decision by the Cabinet to appoint businessman Christian Mouttet as the sole investigator into the procurement of two inter-island vessels.

Young told today's post-Cabinet news conference that Mouttet's task is a fact-finding exercise adding that he will be provided with the resources from Office of Attorney General.

He said the Integrity Commission and has its own mandate and powers to also carry out an investigation if it likes and that the same goes for the Police Service.

"So there is no crossing of the line. If there is any action coming out of what he brings to us, be it civil or criminal action - which we can take to the police - we will act upon it," he said.

He says he does not agree that the process is flawed adding that he felt the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar was "grasping at straws" trying to find a conflict of interest.

"Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar should throw her mind back to when she sat in the Basdeo Panday Cabinet and participated in a decision, on two occasions, to appoint Jim Davis to look into allegations of the Police Service using Jeep Cherokees and Lennox Deyalsingh to look into first Piarco Airport inquiry," Young said

He says the prime minister cannot take action unless someone independently gathers the facts.

"You can't take action based on what is on television or in the newspaper," he said.

He added that the prime minister will next week directly address why he chose Mouttet for this investigation.