Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Government to Rowley: Authenticate emails presented in no confidence debate; PM asks CoP to investigate

Keith Rowley opens debate in his Parliamentary debate (Express Photo)
Keith Rowley opened the debate on his no confidence motion in the government Monday by producing what he said was a string of e-mails between top government members that reveal a conspiracy to undermine key state institutions and the media.

But in an immediate rebutall, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan dismissed the opposition leader's conspiracy theory as bogus.

And in a media release late Monday the Government formally refuted the allegations and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar wrote to the acting police commissioner asking Stephen Williams to investigate "these very serious allegations and ascertain the authenticity of those emails and take such action as is required according to the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago."

The release from the office of the Prime Minister is reproduced below:

"The People's Partnership Government categorically refutes any authorship in the series of printouts of alleged electronic mails between members of the government during a period of September 2012. 

"The content of the print-outs as read into the Parliamentary debate this afternoon would be inadmissible under any general rule of evidence and we challenge the Leader of the Opposition to authenticate these messages.

"We also challenge the Opposition Leader to repeat these allegations outside the Parliament chamber and without the protection of the privilege he so skillfully abuses.

"The people of Trinidad and Tobago should take note that in this era of technology, it is easy to forge e-mail accounts, or to create accounts that are either very similar or appears to be an authentic existing email. 

"If a series of print outs, without any well-established electronic verification process, is the foundation of the Leader of the Opposition's No Confidence Motion in the Government, then the motion is being built on nothing more than a fictitious and fabricated paper foundation and adds nothing to the development of the People of Trinidad and Tobago.

"Both the public and the media should note the comments by the Speaker of the House during the debate, when he said that Members must take ownership and full responsibility for the content of all emails being read into the Hansard of House.

"The allegations made during the debate by members of the opposition are malicious, false, misleading, scandalous. It amounts to misleading the house and may even amount to a Contempt of Parliament.

"We note too that it points to a significant criminal act to have either concocted the emails or to have knowingly relied on such a malicious fabrication. That is indeed a matter that we would seek to investigate.

"The following is an extract from a letter sent by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP to the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr Stephen Williams:

"Dear Commissioner,

"Today, Monday 20th May 2013, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition shared with the Government, correspondence which he stated came into his possession several months ago.

"The correspondence, purporting to be email exchanges between government office holders, alleges serious criminal conduct. I hereby request that you cause an investigation into these very serious allegations and ascertain the authenticity of those emails and take such action as is required according to the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai