“[…] To this very day, the vehicle is owned by me, the vehicle remains in my name, the vehicle’s insurance is in my name, the loan agreement is in my name as all documentation supports the fact that I am the owner of the vehicle in question.
“[…] Put simply, I have been charged for a vehicle that I am the legal owner of, but this is an issue I am confident, given the proof, will be vindicated in our nation’s courts…”
The following is a press statement by UNC deputy political leader and Pointe a Pierre MP David Lee, who was arrested and charged with conspiracy for defraud on Friday 16 September 2022—in relation to his use of parliamentary privilege for the purchase of a TT$2.3m vehicle:
As the Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre, I would like to respond to the political witch hunt and distraction by this Government which has resulted in charges being laid against me for allegations—which in due course I shall prove are not only futile as well as false but are a direct attempt by an administration that has lost its way to change the national conversation away from the hardship which they have caused on our population.
While this is now a matter before the court and I will remain circumspect in my comments, I take this time to inform the national public that at no time did I contravene, conspire, or seek to defraud the state or its institutions through the access of exemptions for the purchase of a vehicle which all Members of Parliament are allowed.
While these charges have been laid against me, it is important that Members of the Public are aware that the transaction in question was undertaken, as the evidence will show, within the confines of the law. To this very day, the vehicle is owned by me, the vehicle remains in my name, the vehicle’s insurance is in my name, the loan agreement is in my name as all documentation supports the fact that I am the owner of the vehicle in question.
I have always been transparent with the ownership of this vehicle to the point that I have recorded it each year since its acquisition on my annual declaration to the Integrity Commission.
Put simply, I have been charged for a vehicle that I am the legal owner of, but this is an issue I am confident, given the proof, will be vindicated in our nation’s courts.
At this time, I remain determined and committed to undertake my job as the Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre and will not be distracted, deterred, or even intimidated from undertaking my role to stand up for my constituents against a government that continues to place our population under significant socio-economic burdens.
Despite the coincidence that after spending the first few days of the week publicly exposing the Government on energy matters then to be charged on Friday, as if it was an act of suppression, I will continue to call this Government out with equal if not stronger vigour given the decimation, they have undertaken in our energy sector and national community.
I have full faith in our independent institutions, and I await my day in court to prove my innocence.