Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ramlogan challenges Rowley to prove he told Parliament about Gordon meeting

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan on Monday challenged Keith Rowley to prove that he told Parliament that he held a meeting with the chairman of the Integrity Commission, Ken Gordon, on May 15.

Speaking on local media, the AG said if the Leader of the Opposition could provide the proof then he would hand back Rowley the $12,000 cheque he received from Rowley's attorney to settle a legal matter. He also said he would apologise to Rowley.

Ramlogan said Rowley was very specific about his actions when he addressed Parliament on May 20, 2013 in the opposition no confidence vote.

Here is the timeline he noted:
  • December/ End of 2012 - Dr. Rowley says he received the emails. He spent a few days over it to confirm the email addresses and ensure it was not frivolous
  • 8th January 2013 - After approximately 2-3 weeks of examining the emails he decided to take the document to the President. The meeting with the President was held at the President’s House on the 8th January 2013
  • 7th May, 2013 - Dr. Rowley filed the no-confidence motion in Parliament. He said during the no-confidence motion that he had waited 6 months to “see what would happen”(more like 5 months, 6 months from the meeting with the President would have been the 8th July 2013)
  • 15th May 2013 – Infamous secret meeting held with IC Chairmam Ken Gordon at his residence
  • 20th May, 2013 – Rowley pilots Motion of no confidence. Speaks for 90 minutes and conceals this secret meeting. He does not say that he met with anyone from the Integrity Commission, just that he decided to bring the motion (filed on the 7th) after he was confident that the relevant authorities had done nothing 
Ramlogan stated that in Rowley’s ‘play-by-play’ of the events as told in Parliament he did not mention going the Integrity Commission. 

"If Dr. Rowley had nothing to hide, why did he fail to disclose this secret meeting during his contributions in the no-confidence motion when he gave details as to the steps he had taken since he came into possession of the emails," Ramlogan said.

The AG pointed out that Rowley told Parliament the only person with whom he had shared "the fictitious emails" was former President George Maxwell Richards. 

He questioned why Rowley was meeting with Gordon when he had not shared the information with the Integrity Commission.

Ramlogan also noted that it appears strange that the leader of the opposition was demonising the police and the lead investigator, Mervyn Richardson, saying they are not fit to probe the email matter while insisting that the only body capable of doing it is the Integrity Commission.

He also Rowley's behaviour in trying to use his email story to "assassinate the character" of the prime minister is tantamount to treason and Rowley was blinded by "political rage and political rage". He said the action of the leader of the opposition was a serious attack on the country's democracy and an attempt to undermine the duly elected government.

He assured citizens that there is nothing to fear from the email matter. He scoffed at comments attributed to Rowley that even if the email addresses are false the content of of the fictitious emails must be investigated. Ramlogan said that defies logic.

Ramlogan also questioned the decision on June 6th 2013 to release an opinion by an unnamed senior counsel supporting the power of the Integrity Commission to investigate email issue.

The IC statement said the Senior Counsel advised that the commission has the jurisdiction to consider and enquire matters where there have been breaches of the Integrity in Public Life Act and where an offence has been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Ramlogan questioned why the commission has so far refused to name the Senior Counsel who provided the opinion. "Suppose he is a PNM?" Ramlogan asked.

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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