EIGHT MONTHS: Faris Al-Rawi

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Probe gets big break

Emailgate latest

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

The investigation into emailgate received an important break yesterday.

National Security Minister Gary Griffith has directed his attorney (Pamela Elder SC) to authorise Google  to facilitate the Integrity Commission’s request for information on his (Griffith’s) e-mail account.

The Minister told the Express that he was liasing with his attorney with a view to putting an end to the matter.

 “What I am trying to do is to facilitate the request by the Integrity Commission so that they can proceed to get the information that is required,” he said.

 Griffith added that he believed the procedure involved the writing of a letter giving the Integrity Commission authorisation to get the information from his account. 

“I am willing to give information with respect to all e-mails directly relating to the alleged addresses referred to in the bogus document (presented in Parliament by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley last May) on matters relating to what were contained in the bogus document that was revealed by Dr Keith Rowley.”

 He said Google would extract all e-mails between himself and the four persons named in Rowley’s document, which would include all sent, received, deleted or archived e-mail within the period identified.

Griffith stressed that the Integrity Commission would only be given e-mails which deal with subject matters relating to the specific allegations.

 He said any e-mail on the Director of Public Prosecutions or reporter Denyse Renne, for instance, would be given to the Commission.

 Other electronic correspondence, such as the Attorney General and himself talking about national security would not be accessible to the Commission, said Griffith, a former national security advisor to the Prime Minister.

Griffith’s hard drive from his computer at the Office of the Prime Minister and his phone are still with the police who are also investigating the matter. 

Elder is also the attorney for Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Works Minister Suruj Rambachan, who were also implicated by Rowley, along with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

 Attorney for Rowley, Faris Al-Rawi, said Griffith’s undertaking that he would be providing authoritisation for Google and its e-mail facility, gmail, to disclose his e-mail account information for the relevant periods was noted.

 Al-Rawi said Griffith’s undertaking was at variance with that offered by the attorneys acting for the Prime Minister and the Attorney General and Rambachan.

 “And therefore the real question in Trinidad and Tobago is what do the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and Minister Rambachan intend to do. Would they be following suit and, if so, what prevented them from doing this before?” asked the PNM Senator.  Al-Rawi said the PNM was repeating its call for the investigation by the Integrity Commission to be treated not only with the alacrity it deserves, “but in similar fashion to Rowley’s treatment of the investigation with the Integrity Commission, which is to volunteer unequivocally all assistance required to the investigation, including access to e-mails abroad at servers which reside outside of Trinidad and Tobago”.

 “So the ball still lies in the court of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and Dr Rambachan,” Al-Rawi stated.

 He added that it was important to put the investigation to rest.

Noting that it has been eight months since Rowley put on the Parliament table “matters of grave concern” and called for an investigation, Al-Rawi said he was sure that the country had taken note of former deputy commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson’s parting words (before his retirement) that he was disappointed that nothing came of the investigation into emailgate. 

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