Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says he was unaware, until told, of an incident in which one of his constituents allegedly tried to run his convoy off the road.
“… I don’t even know what was happening behind me,” he told a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
He spoke of the alleged incident while responding to a question about cocaine having been stolen from the Narcotics Base in Arnos Vale.
“I don’t advise on anything concerning prosecution,” the Minister of National Security said as he was responding to a question about whether the findings of an investigation about the missing drugs would be sent to prosecutors.
“Fellas know it so much that even relatively simple things like a fella who wants to overtake the backup vehicle over G7 and then to overtake G7, I don’t even know what was happening behind me, I don’t even know what [has] gone to the police, and I’m not interfering. Persons make what decision they want to make. I think you know me well enough to know [that],” Gonsalves said.
Kenson King, a resident of Park Hill, told iWitness News on Dec. 28, 2017 that he was summoned to the Traffic Branch on Dec. 27, 2017 and accused of trying to run Gonsalves’ two-vehicle convoy off the road when he tried to overtake them between 6:15 and 6:45 a.m. that day.
King, a corrections officer, said the prime minister’s back-up vehicle repeated blocked him from overtaking between New Grounds and Diamond although he had ensured that the road ahead was clear and had used his horn and indicator to communicate his intention to overtake.
King, who is supposed to report for duty at 7 a.m., said he got to work late as a result of the action of the prime minister’s security escort.
The man said that police have served him with a notice of intended prosecution for reckless driving.
When asked if he was not informed of the incident, Gonsalves said he was informed “that an incident had occurred.
“I listened to the report on the incident. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t tell anybody to do anything, nobody asked me what to do.”
Asked if, to the extent that the issue related to his personal safety, if he was not concerned at all, Gonsalves said he expects those who are selected to protect his person “would exercise good judgment in so protecting my person.
“I may not agree with every decision which they may take in the protection of my person, but I don’t ever want to reach a stage where I am advising them what to do in the protection of my person.
“They are the professionals.
“They send them on training you know, all over the world. All over the world, the guys who are around me, they send them on training. And they are good men and women around me,” the prime minister said.
King has denied attempting to run the Prime minister’s convoy off the road, saying that he only wanted to get to work.
He further said that if anyone was reckless during the encounter, it was the driver of the prime minister’s security escort vehicle, which he said cut him off several times when he (King) attempted to overtake after ensuring that the road ahead was clear.
“I was just trying to get to work. If they had sirens on, I would not have tried to overtake, because I would have known that they were in a hurry,” King said.
He told iWitness News that he was finally able to overtake in Diamond, where the road is three lanes wide, and got to work late because of the action of the prime minister’s convoy.