“I have done all I can,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and lead investigator in the four-month-old Emailgate probe Mervyn Richardson said yesterday.
Richardson said he had contacted internet providers Google and Microsoft as recently as two weeks ago but was still awaiting official word about the authenticity of e-mail addresses of the Prime Minister, and two of her Cabinet ministers, as well as her former security advisor, alleged to be linked in a conspiracy to commit illegal acts.
“I have done all I can. I am doing all that I can do, but I have received nothing yet from the providers,” he said.
Despite the slow pace of the probe, Richardson said, “I have faith in the process.”
Richardson also confirmed that after four months there was still no agreement with attorneys representing Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Works and Infrastructure Minister Suruj Rambachan on how much information the cops should have access to in relation to the probe.
On September 2, attorneys Israel Khan SC acting on behalf of the prime minister, and Pamela Elder SC, along with Larry Lalla, who represent Ramlogan and Rambachan, wrote to Richardson on the matter.
They told him they were not in agreement with his draft consent forms to solicit information, and had advised their clients that the forms were “wider than the legitimate parameters” of the investigations.
Instead they drafted their own consent form to which there has been no agreement, Khan told the Sunday Express.
“We believe the information should focus only on the period September 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012,” he added.
Their proposal is that Google, Microsoft and TSTT should be asked the question, in relation to each client, “was the said e-mail account used to send or receive the purported e-mails as revealed in the Parliament by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition on Friday May 17, 2013”.
They also asked Richardson whether their clients’ electronic devices would be needed, since they said no mention of this was made in the DCP’s correspondence to them.
“We note that while ours (letter) of July 5, 2013 focused mainly on your request for access to our client’s electronic devices, yours (letter) of August 20, 2013 makes no mention of the said electronic devices but instead of access to our clients’ e-mail accounts,” they told Richardson, adding, “so that we may be clear as to the future intent of your investigation kindly indicate whether you still seek access to our clients’ electronic devices”.
As to the consent form, they advised, while at all times “our clients” stood ready to “cooperate with your investigation into the authenticity of the alleged e-mails revealed in the Parliament by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition on Friday May 17, 2013 but maintain their inalienable constitutional right, and indeed their duty, to protect the confidentiality of all information extraneous and irrelevant to your investigation”.
They advised their clients that the form sought to access “their individual accounts that is wider than the legitimate parameters” of the investigation, which is “to determine whether the alleged e-mails were sent from or received by their respective e-mail accounts”.
This is the consent form they have proposed to be sent to the e-mail servers/providers:
“I........................hereby consent to (Telecommunications Services Trinidad and Tobago Limited/Google Inc./Microsoft Corporation):
(a) conducting a search of the e-mail account associated with my e-mail address.................. for the period September 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012 as requested by Mr. Mervyn Richardson, Deputy Commissioner of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and
(b) answering the question -was the said e-mail account used to send or receive the purported e-mails as revealed in the Parliament by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition on Friday May 17, 2013.
We believe that the terms of the above consent strike the appropriate balance between your duty and wish to move your investigation forward in the public’s interest and our clients’ duty, as holders of public office, to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of information in their possession.”
Yesterday Khan said he has not clue as to the progress of the investigation.
“We too have done all that we could do,” he said.