Financial assistance to families of Mahdia dorm fire victims not “hush money” – Attorney General

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, has strongly refuted claims and speculations that the government is attempting to silence the voices of families affected by the Mahdia dorm fire with “hush money.”

The claims arose after the government offered each family financial assistance to make purchases that would enhance their ability to continue to provide for their families.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC

During an interview with the National Communications Network (NCN) Monday evening, AG Nandlall clarified that the government has been offering various forms of assistance to families of the victims of the fire since the tragedy occurred in May.

He noted that unfortunately, persons including some members of the media, have already begun to shift the narrative to vilify the government, stating that the financial assistance is being given to dissuade persons from speaking during the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the fire.

“Let me make it abundantly clear that there is no connection between the two. The COI, as promised by His Excellency, will be established, and will be conducted in accordance with the terms of reference establishing that COI,” he explained.

He shut down claims that the money was contributed with any connection to the COI, noting that the government will continue to offer support to these families as was previously pledged.

“The COI will have its terms of reference. They have not yet been drawn. And when they are drawn, if the terms of reference mandate it, the commission will take into account all the matters that it is obliged to do by virtue of those terms of reference, which may include reviewing all the help and financial assistance that the government may have given, and many other matters that have nothing to do with this engagement that we have had with the families,” AG Nandlall said.

The Attorney General lambasted opportunists who pointed accusatory fingers towards the government, pointing out that none of these persons have been involved in the exercise, or met the families who were affected.

“These are persons who are deeply affected, and who need a lot of assistance. And as a responsible, caring, and affectionate government, we are simply acceding to requests made, as well as addressing a situation with which we are confronted, as I believe we have a responsibility to do,” he expressed.

The AG added that government should be complimented, rather than condemned, for helping these persons who are still going through very difficult times.

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