Wednesday, November 29, 2006

MP Achong under probe

by Richard Charan
Trinidad Express
November 29, 2006

Point Fortin Member of Parliament Larry Achong is being investigated by police about the language he allegedly used at a town meeting organised by TV6's Morning Edition programme.
The meeting was held to discuss construction of the proposed aluminium smelter at Chatham, which is in Achong's constituency. Statements taken from two people allege that he mouthed an obscenity.
The investigation was ordered by Senior Superintendent Samuel Jemmott, days after the broadcast of the meeting which was hosted by journalist Andy Johnson and held at the Chatham Youth Centre.
Jemmott spent his last days in the South Western Division yesterday after his sudden transfer to the Central Division.
He is being replaced by Snr Supt Krishna Maharaj.
The investigation is being led by an Acting Sergeant assigned to the Point Fortin police station.
The investigator has interviewed Johnson at CCN's Independence Square, Port of Spain headquarters.
The police have also viewed a tape-recording of the meeting.
CCN is the parent company of the Express and TV6.
Last night, sources said that two people interviewed had given statements and were willing to testify.
Achong is still to be questioned.
The woman to whom Achong mouthed an alleged obscenity, was visited yesterday by the police asking for a statement on what she heard.
The woman, who asked that her name not be used, said she refused to help the police.
She said she remained fearful of being a witness.
The public forum heard the views of several Chatham residents who rejected Government's plan to relocate the village and allow Alcoa to build the smelter.
Several groups have called for Achong to apologise to his constituents and resign as MP.
Achong has said he did not curse and has refused to apologise or quit office.
Achong has said that as an elected Member of Parliament he cannot be fired.
Prime Minister Patrick Manning and other PNM politicians have said nothing publicly on the issue.


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