Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gordon must not sit on any matters relating to government of opposition: PM Kamla

New NP station - PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Khadijah Ameen and Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine
(Express photo)
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar stated on Friday that the chairman of the Integrity Commission (IC) cannot preside over any investigations relating to members of her government or the opposition.

She spoke with the media following the official opening of a new NP gas station and Quick Shoppe in Charlieville, Chaguanas West.

Persad-Bissesssar's lawyer, Israel Khan, wrote to Gordon on July 12 asking him to recuse himself from any IC probe into the email matter, citing apparent bias. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, made the same request through his attorney, Dana Seetahal, on July 15 in a letter to the Registrar of the commission.

The Prime Minister stated that the secret meeting between Gordon and Opposition Leader Keith Rowley compromised the commission. Both men met at Gordon's home on May 15, five days before Rowley went to Parliament and accused the government of a serious conspiracy involving the PM, AG, senior cabinet minister Suruj Rambachan and National Security Adviser to the PM, Gary Griffith.

Rowley charged that thee conspiracy was outlined in a thread of 31 emails exchanged among the officials in September. Persad-Bissessar and the others immediately stated that the emails were fabricated and referred the matter to the police for investigations. Experts have declared the emails as fakes. 

Perad-Bissessar said her attorney will be writing to Gordon to express concerns about his capability to chair the Commission with respect to any other matter relating to the government or opposition.

She told local media, "My lawyer has advised me that based on our letter he has recused himself from this particular matter but my lawyer is now advising that Mr Gordon may well have to recuse himself from any matter which concern members of my Government because of that meeting." 

She reiterated the point that it is not clear what Rowley and Gordon discussed at their meeting on May 15 because there was no official rec ord of the meeting and also because no one else was present.

“We don’t know what else was discussed and I believe my lawyer is about to write to Mr Gordon that he should recuse himself and not sit on any matters relating to members of the Government and secondly that he should not sit on any matters relating to members of the opposition and the former government,” she said.

"In other words I have been advised that he has so severely compromised that office with this secret meeting that he will be unable in law in the perception of that meeting, that it would be unwise and inappropriate and unfair for him to sit on any matters related to my government and or to the opposition and to the former Government."

In effect, she has stated that Gordon is unfit to sit on any matters and puts the IC in a very untenable position with a "lame duck" chairman.

"(He) effect be hamstrung in carrying out his duties as you well know the law relates to government officials and former government officials, the persons who the Integrity Commission is charged to investigate,” she said.

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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