Authorities claim to have uncovered plot to assassinate Prime Minister

Gary Griffith, appearing on television, said that National Security Minister Retired Brigadier John Sandy is expected to make a statement later on Thursday.

He told viewers that the authorities uncovered the plot “based on a confirmed threat to our nation’s security.

“I would not want to say more at this time, it will be revealed in due course, hopefully later today. I think it is the right of citizens to know the security of the state but for obvious reasons there are times it could be revealed.

“I think the time has come and I think we can refer to Mr. Sandy’s statement a few months ago when he was criticised when he said 1990 would have looked like a tea party. So I think it will all come to light”.

Sandy had defended the coalition People’s Partnership government’s decision to impose a state of emergency (SOE) on the island since August 21.

Sandy told legislators that the government had no choice but to impose the SOE and the accompanying five-hour curfew, which has since been lifted, because the authorities had to act to prevent a “bloodbath” that would have made 1990 a “Christmas tea party”.

In 1990, members of the radical Jamaat Al Muslimeen group staged an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the then government of Prime Minister ANR Robinson.

At least 24 people, including one legislator, Leo Des Vignes, were killed during the six day insurrection that ended on August 1.

The group’s leader, Yasin Abu Bakr and his men were tried for treason, but the Court of Appeal upheld the amnesty offered to secure their surrender, and they were released.

However, The London-based Privy Council, the country’s highest court, later invalidated the amnesty, but the Muslimeen members were not re-arrested.

Griffith told television viewers that while Sandy would be the person giving “more information pertaining to what has happened, what I can say is that whatever plan was afoot, the law enforcement agencies are in full control of the situation and again this here is based on individuals who wanted the state of emergency to be seen as a dismal failure and because of their concerns that the state of emergency had affected them”.

Media reports said that apart from Persad Bissessar, the alleged plot also involved the assassination of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Foreign Affairs and Information Minister Suruj Rambachan.

Griffith confirmed that security had been beefed up around the ministers.

Unconfirmed reports said at least 10 people had been detained by police for questioning.

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