Energy Minister Eric Williams spent the morning in church
yesterday as he faces seven charges for allegedly receiving
a total of $75,000 in bribes in 2003 concerning an ongoing
seismic project in Pt Galeota.
Interviewed yesterday, Williams said God will see him through
what he asserted are false charges of misconduct in public
office laid against him as he prepared to surrender to the
However, Williams would not say if he intended to resign as
Energy Minister or as the MP for Port-of-Spain South.
As of late Saturday, the seven warrants obtained by the police
for Williams arrest had not been executed.
God will vindicate me, Williams said when contacted
maintain my innocence. My lawyers yesterday arranged with
the police for my surrender on Monday.
After messages were left on his cellphone by the Guardian
yesterday, Williams responded to questions by a series of
He did not say exactly which church he attended yesterday
but clarified it was not a Roman Catholic church.
In a Guardian article published on May 21, Williams said he
was praying and fasting as he faced what were then allegations
of misconduct concerning a seismic contract between bpTT and
a company he founded.
At that time, the Guardian had been informed that Williams
had been spending time at the RC seminary and retreat, Mt
St Benedict, which is located on the hills above St Augustine.
Williams then said his spiritual retreat, and week-long silence
before the May 21, 2005, article, were not any indication
of any intention to resign.
am Pentecostal, Williams said yesterday when asked if
he was at Mt St Benedict yesterday.
Mt St Benedict report was grossly overstated. A friend and
I met there to talk in peaceful surroundings.
Williams was then asked if he intended to resign but sent
no response. He issued no further comment.
The charges against Williams arise out of allegations made
by PNM Mayaro councillor Dansam Dhansook who alleged he paid
bribes to Williams and former Works and Transport Minister
Franklin Khan in return for oil contract favours.
Both Williams and Khan had denied the bribery allegations
during a media briefing on April 29, 2005.
Williams had also declared his innocence in a statement he
made during a sitting of the Lower House on April 27, 2005.
Khan resigned his ministerial post on May 8, 2005, but remained
as party chairman of the PNM until he was charged with six
counts of misbehaviour in public office on November 23, 2005.
The Opposition UNC has consistently questioned why Williams
had not been charged together with Khan on November 23.
The UNC has also questioned why Williams continued to serve
as Energy Minister even though Khan resigned his post some
eight months ago.