The Trinidad Guardian / Opposition MPs in Parliament yesterday grilled National Security Minister Edmund Dillon about the US court matter in which he’s currently involved – but Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi firmly stood by Dillon.
Dillon has been attending a US court in recent months where allegations of “elder financial abuse, exploitation and fraud” have been levelled against him by the niece of Neville Piper, a T&T national resident in new York.
Yesterday, Dillon spoke earlier about the matter at a briefing prior to Parliament. He acknowledged it involved Dillon, but described him as a very good friend. But in Parliament, the Opposition pressed him on the court matter.
On MP Roodal Moonilal’s queries, Dillon said, “This is a vexatious civil matter in the New York courts which I expect to be knocked out by by April 4, 2018.”
On MP Rodney Charles’ query, Dillon said he’d been to the US twice on the matter.
Ganga Singh asked if given T&T’s crime situation, whether Dillon felt his office had been compromised by the issue.
Dillon replied,”No, my office hasn’t been compromised. Vexatious, frivolous allegations have been made.”
Prior to proceedings, Singh told reporters,”Based on alleged reports of this matter, it’s a damning situation. Whether he’s fit and proper to occupy the office of Minister of National Security has been called into question.
“Once the matter broke he ought to have used the Parliament to give a personal explanation. It may be an old family friend but based on the court documents’ allegations, there’s alleged abuse of an old family friend.
“T&T’s in an abyss of crime and culture of abuse, and now there’s a trend based on court allegations the National Security Minister is committing abuse – T&T becomes victim if he’s guilty of this.”
But Al-Rawi said there’s currently no finding in the US court against Dillon on a case of elderly financial abuse.
“I got a full report from Minister Dillon on the matter and spoke to US attorneys representing him,” Al-Rawi added.
“The matter is due in court on April 4 and the attorneys tell me they’re absolutely sure it will be knocked out. They say there’s conclusive evidence to throw it out – it’s a simple matter. Minister Dillon can rest easily in this. I personally am not concerned he’s in any difficulty.”
Al-Rawi added, “It involves a close relative – a friend much like an uncle to him – who insisted on gifting the remainder of his property after his death to Minister Dillon. He has no children. Dillon has been a close member of his family for many, many years, looking after his financial support. At the gentleman’s insistence the man went to his attorneys in the US and gave the remainder to Minister Dillon, done in accordance with US law.”
The AG said he understood a niece of the man had applied to be a guardian at law and the court made an interim order on guardianship.
“She also applied to have the (first) transaction set aside, so it appears to be a land grabbing issue – she’s pursuing the uncle’s property. She also made allegations against attorneys who acted for her uncle.”
UNC grills Security Minister in House
Con Información de The Trinidad Guardian
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