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PM: It Was About A ‘Survey’, Not ‘Sniffing’ !

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The Prime Minister has openly disclosed that the telephone conversation between him and Sherry Singh took place in the course of April. But that the issue raised was not that of Network Sniffing or Inception or Cyber Espionage but a survey to assess the security of the State by a qualified Indian team at the Landing Station in Baie Jacotet.

Pravind Jugnauth answered Supplementary Questions in front of the press cameras on Wednesday evening at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava, during the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between China and Mauritius, organized by the Chinese Speaking Union.

PM ‘Quite Frustrated’ by interruption

He began his statement by revealing that he was “prepared to answer further questions from the Leader of the Opposition” but that following the Standing Order, applied by the Speaker, Soorojdev Phokeer causing the interruption, he was unable to do so and that he is still “quite frustrated at not having been able to answer those questions“, hence his vow to answer them in public

Subject of the telephone exchange

There was a telephone conversation between me and the former CEO of Mauritius Telecom. It was to ask him to give access to a team of Indian technicians at the Landing Station in Baie Jacotet to conduct a State Security Survey. There was never any mention of the installation of sniffing or interception equipment or cyber espionage,” said Pravind Jugnauth. He added “there was a security issue, and it was necessary to do this survey in Mauritius. I have personally approached Shri Narendra Modi to send a competent team for this survey. In Mauritius, we don’t have the technicians for this survey but even if we did, we preferred to go for this Indian team of technicians“.

Persistence of Sherry Singh

The PM explained that the team in question was already in Mauritius but that “Sherry Singh did not give permission to carry out the survey at the beginning” but later agreed. This was the moment when the PM said, “By the way, where was this equipment installed? This team had permission from the then CEO of MT, so they should have already installed the sniffing or interception equipment. There is no such equipment. He lied. He himself said that there was no such equipment installed“. Talking about the deteriorating relations between him and Sherry Singh “He made it clear that the relations were not good, but at the same time, he has remained as the head of MT since 2019!” “I am, of course, very hurt because I trusted him. He afterwards came out with allegations and falsehoods against me. I am obviously very hurt. He cannot start with the phone call, which is a truth, and then add lies and continue with falsehoods,” he lamented.

PM awaits Friday’s Big Revelations

On the resignation of Sherry Singh, the PM recalled that “these are not the exact reasons behind his resignation. In my first reaction, on the spot, I had asked you for patience, the people will really know why he resigned“. He however conceded that it was he who had placed him in that position but that his resignation would rather concern the Mauritius Telecom Board.  In response to a question from the press on the major revelations announced by Bruneau Laurette for this Friday as well as the replies that Sherry Singh is preparing, which could lead to the resignation of the PM, Pravind Jugnauth said “well precisely, we will wait until Friday to know what are these elements that they have. Then, I will speak,” he concluded.

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