Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PM Kamla's lawyer tells Gordon to stay out of email probe

File: Israel Khan
Israel Khan has sent a letter to Ken Gordon asking the chairman of the Integrity Commission (IC) to stay out of any IC investigation of email allegations raised in Parliament by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.

The latter cites the risk of “the appearance of insidious political bias” because of Gordon's secret meeting with Rowley at Gordon’s home.

Khan's letter, copied to other members of the Commission, cited Gordon’s unilateral decision to seek legal advice on the email matter prior to the formal appointment of a full Commission on July 2. 
Khan has asked Gordon to reply to the letter by next Monday. 

Newsday reported on Wednesday the contents of the letter:

“I have been instructed to formally request that you recuse yourself from any investigation by the Integrity Commission into the authenticity of the ‘emails’ submitted by Dr Keith Rowley in this matter...

“Several events have occurred since the alleged emails were first disclosed on May 20, 2013, which would lead the fair-minded, informed observer to question the independence of any investigation into this matter in which you are involved. My client is entitled to an independent and fair investigation not tainted or infected by the appearance of insidious political bias.

“It is my respectful view that your action and/or conduct in this matter would lead the fair-minded and informed observer (to conclude) that there was a real possibility that this matter would not be investigated and adjudicated upon by you impartially,” Khan wrote.

“Justice must not only be done but must manifestly appear to be seen to be done. Your conduct and/or actions in this matter give rise to the perception and appearance of political bias...

“You have held an improper if not inappropriate secret meeting with the Leader of the Opposition at your private residence which was not disclosed to the Government or the public despite the obvious sensitivity and importance of the subject matter of that unofficial private meeting and the clear political implications of it in light of the motion of no-confidence filed by the Leader of the Opposition...

“There can be no question that the revelation of your secret meeting with Dr Rowley on May 15, 2013, mere days before the hearing of the no-confidence motion in the Parliament, casts doubt on your ability to fulfil your duties as the chairman of the Integrity Commission in a truly independent manner. 

"In addition, your persistent refusal to recognise or acknowledge that the decision to conduct that meeting with Dr Rowley at your home was an exercise of manifestly poor judgement has caused widespread alarm and concern.
“Your decision to seek such legal advice was clearly premature, as a prudent course to be adopted by a reasonable chairman in such circumstances was to await the appointment of the fellow Commissioners to allow them to deliberate on the matter and take a decision,” Khan wrote. 

“Should the lawfully constituted Integrity Commission require legal advice on the matter, such legal advice could then have been properly sought from a senior counsel of its choice. A reasonable and prudent chairman would be expected to seek legal advice on the extent of his powers (if any) and functions in the absence of an integrity Commission. This you failed and/or refused to do.

“Your decision to seek legal advice as aforesaid would lead a reasonable and fair-minded observer to infer and/or conclude that you were seeking to bind the hands of your fellow Commissioners whenever they were appointed,” Khan wrote. Khan also took issue with Gordon for failing to disclose the private meeting with Rowley to the President or Parliament."

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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