|File: Keith Rowley|
Both Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan have asked, through their respective lawyers, for Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon to recuse himself from any probe of the matter that the commission might undertake.
Their request is based on the fact that Gordon and Rowley had a secret meeting at Gordon's home on May 15 at which Gordon assured Rowley that the commission was not investigating the matter. Rowley told local media he went to Gordon's home ahead of the no confidence motion at which he intended to present the "emails" to get advice.
Both men have insisted there was nothing wrong in their actions. Rowley and the PNM have always insisted that the commission is the only competent authority to investigate the matter. And he has said the police are not capable of doing it.
Rowley never reported the matter to police and waited four months before going to former President Max Richards to discuss it. And Richards waited another two months before sending the alleged emails to the Integrity Commission for "authentication". Rowley told Parliament it was not for him to determine if the documents were authentic before presenting them in Parliament.
Commenting on the latest development, Rowley told the Express, "If there is nothing to be found then, there ought to be nothing to be afraid of. It matters not who is investigating."
He added, "Government’s paranoia speaks loudly about their fears. While it is their view that Ken Gordon is the commission and they could demonise and attack him, it is the PNM’s view that the commission is an institution under the Constitution, and it matters not who populates it, the commission has a duty to investigate persons in public life with questions to answer."
Rowley did not hold that view when former Deputy Chairman of the Integrity Commission, Gladys Gafoor, was forced out of an investigation into a land deal matter involving former PNM Attorney General John Jeremie.
Jeremie has requested that Gordon ask two members to recuse themselves from the investigation. Gafoor refused and was forced out; Sieunarine Jokhoo agreed not to be a part of the probe.
In another matter Rowley stated publicly that he had no confidence in the Integrity Commission led by Gordon.