Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rowley tells Parliament emails reveal major government conspiracy; AG, Anil knock down arguments

Rowley shows copies of emails; PP calls them bogus, calls for police probe
The PNM had promised something big in Monday's opposition no confidence motion. And in came from Keith Rowley, who read what he said was an exchange of emails alleging a conspiracy against the media and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in connection with the proclamation of Section 34.

The Opposition leader said there was a plot involving Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, National Security Adviser Gary Griffith and Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan.

He said the string of emails show a plan to tap the phone of DPP Roger Gaspard, remove him from office, and smear a reporter. The allegations were repeated by opposition whip Marlene McDonald and Diego Martin Central MP Amery Browne who both heaped scorn on the People's Partnership government.

Rowley said he wants the DPP and the Integrity Commission to probe the e-mails purportedly bearing the names of PM and the others.

However, Ramlogan, who spoke immediately after Rowley, scoffed at the claims and pointed out that they were bogus.

Some of the emails that Rowley produced had the email anan@gmail.com. However Ramlogan pointed out that it could not be from him because he has never had a gmail account. He read into Hansard what he said was the only email that he has ever had: anand@tstt.net.tt 

The Attorney General called the motion of no confidence an abuse of parliamentary privilege, frivolous and a waste of parliament’s time. And he challenged Rowley to make the same allegations outside the legislature where he doesn't have the protection of Parliamentary Privilege. He said the claim was "pure and utter fabrication" and called it "an act of political desperation", adding that it was "nothing short of character assassination".

Ramlogan labelled Rowley a liar, pointing out several instances where he knowingly fabricated stories. The most prominent, he said, was when Rowley accused him of making racist remarks to staff at the T&T mission in New York. Rowley eventually apologised and acknowledged he was wrong.

Ramlogan also spoke of the PNM's false propaganda involving the government's case against BAE over the the cancellation of a contract to supply the T&T government with four offshore patrol boats. 

The PNM claimed publicly that the government had lost the arbitration matter and would have to pay tens of millions in compensation. It turned out to be the opposite and BAE had to pay the government more than $1Billion.

The AG said with today's technology it takes seconds for anyone to create an account and accused Rowley of irresponsibility in presenting the emails in Parliament without authenticating them.

In his presentation, Sports Minister Anil Roberts raised the same concern and said the opposition leader's motion was a waste of Parliament's time.

Roberts asked why the opposition leader had such "evidence" in his hand for six months without reporting the alleged conspiracy to the police. He noted that if the allegations are true then top government officials would be involved in a conspiracy that would be a criminal act so any responsible person with such information should take the matter to police.

He slammed the Opposition leader, who was absent for Roberts' presentation, for not making any attempt to get experts to verify whether the emails were genuine before coming to Parliament to accuse the PM and others.

He also took issue with charges that there was a plot against the media and noted several instances when the PNM were anti-media including the banning of a Newsday reporter from the Parliamentary Press gallery and a statement by MP Colm Imbert during the 2010 election campaign to"deal with the media". 

Roberts said while the opposition leader held on what he called false emails for six months without verifying if they were authentic he was able within six minutes to determine that were bogus, noting that one of them even had .con instead of the conventional .com.

Roberts also noted that one of the emails that Rowley read had a reference to the PM speaking to American official Thomas Smitham in September. He pointed that it was easy to spot the error since the purported email was dated September but Smitham arrived in Port of Spain in November to take up his duties.

Most of the emails had the address shown this way:

To: kamlapb1@gmail.com
From: anan@gmail.com

While the debate was in progress the Prime Minister called a media conference to announce that she had asked Acting Police Commissioner Williams investigate the authenticity of the emails and take action according to the law.

Persad-Bissessar said she was disappointed that Rowley said he shared the information with former President Max Richards and six months later had not asked police to investigate. The PM also said President Richards never raised the matter during meetings she had with him.

No comments:

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