Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 10th 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Monday, February 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
sent to Griffith
for 07th FEBRUARY, 2014
Government Minister Devant Maharaj
says he has been bombarded by threatening
text messages from a woman who has been
trying to "extort financial favours" from
He said the fallout with Trinidad Express
columnist Shirley Hall has left him no other
option but to report it to National Security
Minister Gary Griffith.
Maharaj told the Guardian that Hall has
been using her position in the media to
"extort financial favours" from him and
when frustrated by his refusal, took to texting
him threats on his cellphone.
He said Hall was expecting him to pur-
chase her book for his ministry, but when
his technical staff shut that down, he has
since faced "harassment and threats" from
The messages, which Maharaj forwarded
to the Guardian, say he will become a cripple
by February 27. The messages spoke about
Freemasons and a high priest, who can
reverse the curse, if he agreed to meet by
Hall, in a subsequent telephone interview,
denied these claims, saying that Maharaj
was using his ministerial position and con-
nections to intimidate her and shut her up.
She said the two clashed because Maharaj
has been using excerpts from her book, A
New Caribbean Homegarden Handbook, in
his speeches without her permission and
without crediting her for the information.
However, Hall denied she threatened
Maharaj. She said the book was published
in 2011 and has been used by ministries and
in schools to teach local agriculture issues.
Hall said her book was often quoted by peo-
ple in India and London and they all sought
"What makes him different? He feel
because he is a minister he could do what
he wants?" she said.
Maharaj has since sent copies of the
offending texts to both Griffith and Health
Minister Fuad Khan.
"I sent the texts to the Health Minister
because I believe the woman may be in need
of psychiatric assistance," Maharaj said.
"She cannot deny sending me those texts,
I have them saved on my phone for anyone
to see," he said.
The texts are somewhat obscure, con-
taining no punctuation, several spelling
errors and stating that he already consumed
a "bad potion" that would leave him numb
from the neck down.
Maharaj said Griffith would advise him
on his next step, which would likely lead to
a police investigation.
"The whole thing is unhinged," he said.
When asked about the charges of pla-
giarism, Maharaj said he "did not know the
woman s book at all" and as such could not
quote or cite from it.
He said he was not afraid of the pending
legal action from the author.
"I m saying let her bring the proof that
I stole her work...I have proof that she
threatened me when I refused to use her
book," he said.
A 40-year-old man was killed in a car crash in
Reports indicate that around 4 am, Cumuto res-
ident Jeffrey Antoine was driving along the
Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, Cumuto when he
crashed into the median.
Antoine s Nissan B-12 motor car flipped on impact
and he was thrown out of the vehicle.
He died at the scene, police said.
In a separate incident, a man was knocked down
and killed while attempting to cross the Audrey
Jeffers Highway yesterday afternoon.
Western Division Police are appealing to the
public to identify the body of a man believed to be
in his early 60s who was killed near the foreshore.
Police said yesterday the man died on the scene.
The victim is about 5 feet 5 inches in height and
slim built, and is missing a left eye.
Anyone who can help identify the victim is asked
to contact the St James Police Station at 622-9169
Cumuto man killed
in highway crash
"I know that you are already feeling the
numness (sic) we the masons can prevent this
from going any futher all you have to do is say yes
and we will start the ritual call me and make an
appointment to clean that place asap your
deadline is the twenty six of febuary by the
twenty seventh you will be in a wheelchair being
spoon fed when they are finish they will be going
after your spouse make that appoint me (sic),"
one text reads.
Another read: "if you want to stop this our hight
priest said you have to meet with me by the
eleventh of febuary forget about books all we are
doing is to prevent you from becoming a cripple if
it was left up to me i would let you become a
retard in a wheelchair but shaman our high priest
say we have to save you oh dont ever make the
mistake of treatening us with police because
some of or elders hold the highest rank in the
police force bye for now call and confirm the date
and time remember the twenty six is the
And another read: "you have interfearewith one
of our own an elder we will be taking drastic
measmeasures no one has done that and survived
you are a disggrace and a fool when you havemet
you faith you will be callining her because she and
the other elders are the only ones to save your
sorry a** you think you are smart but they dont
call us the free mason."
Lennox Graham, of
Rio Claro Gayelle,
right, battles with
Rawle Ramroop, of
Gran Couva Gayelle,
during the National
semifinal rounds of
competition held at
the Fun Splash
Water Park in Debe,
on Saturday. Graham
eventually won the
bout. PHOTO: RISHI
IN THE GAYELLE
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