(Trinidad Express) – Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira says that the Clico Investment Bank (CIB) accounts which she closed on December 31 last year, before they matured later this year, had actually matured previously and were “rolled over”.
As such, Nunez-Tesheira said she did not realise and was not informed by anyone at CIB that she was, in fact, breaking the accounts.
“The request was first made verbally. In that initial discussion, no one said to me that what I was doing I was breaking an account,” Nunez-Tesheira said.
She made the comments in a telephone interview with the Express last night, in response to questions about new CIB documents that show she had broken two US dollar accounts with the bank, before they matured on April 30, 2009 and August 13, 2009 respectively.
“Both accounts, as far as I am aware, they (CIB) asked me what I wanted to do with it, whether I wanted to roll it over. I rolled it over, and if I am asking for it after (they rolled over), means that I am breaking it, that is not my understanding,” Nunez-Tesheira said.
She was questioned specifically about the CIB fixed deposit break-request form dated December 31, 2008, to the CIB manager, Fixed Deposit Department.
That form contained a typewritten request as follows: “Please be advised that I/we wish to break the captioned deposit.”
“As far as I am concerned, I am saying to you and that would be the end of it, I did not consider…I was asked to roll it over, if that is what the document says, that is what the document says, what difference does it make? I do not know?” Nunez-Tesheira asked.
She had told the Express on Sunday that when she signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey on January 20, there was no conflict of interest given the terms and conditions of the document and, therefore, she did not benefit from it in any way at all.
“What I did in my capacity in the Ministry of Finance is make CL Financial assets available to liquidate CLICO’s debt,” Nunez-Tesheira said of the MOU.