Lead Investigator into the emailgate scandal, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson said yesterday the integrity Commission might have “more luck” with getting information from international company Google than he did.
It has been several months since Richardson wrote to the internet service provider but up to yesterday, he told the Sunday Express he was yet to get a response.
He said he could not say why the integrity Commission, in its letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had requested her to only write to Google Inc to waive her rights to privacy authorising the company to release information to the Commission and not to the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) or Microsoft, as the police had done in their investigations.
“Yes TSTT is a provider too… but I don’t know why,” he said.
He said it might be better for the Sunday Express to ask the Commission about anything relating to the emailgate issue, since “they seem to be moving faster than the police”.
Richardson was responding to an exclusive front page article in yesterday’s Express indicating that the Commission had written to the Prime Minister, as well as three Cabinet ministers asking them to write to Google to authorise the release of information for the month of September 2012.
The Commission told Persad-Bissessar to ask Google for a “true copy of all communications to and from the account email@example.com” for the period under query. It also asked her to furnish them with a copy of her letter to Google.
Richardson said while he was yet to get a response from Google, the “Commission may have more luck” and that like the rest of the country, “we (too) are waiting for the Integrity Commission”.
He said he has had no contact with the Commission on the issue.
He added, “I did all that I can do. I have reached where I could reach. I can’t do anything else.”
On May 20 Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley during a motion of no confidence in the Government, showed a thread of “e-mails” which he claimed linked four Government ministers, including the Prime Minister, to an alleged plot to commit criminal acts, during the height of the Section 34 controversy in September last year.
The alleged 31 e-mails were alleged to be either coming from or being sent to Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Works and Infrastructure Minister Suruj Rambachan and National Security Minister Gary Griffith, who at the time was national security advisor to the Prime Minister.
Griffith told the Sunday Express yesterday that he too was contacted by the Integrity Commission on September 19, asking him to authorise Google to release his e-mail information for the period. Prior to his elevation to minister, Griffith’s did not fall under the Integrity in Public Life Act.
He is also being represented by Pamela Elder SC, he confirmed yesterday.
“From day one I offered to do this for the police probe, but nobody ever contacted me,” he said
Griffith said: “I am letting the process take its course and am waiting patiently and anxiously for the outcome, which I know will show that there is no chance in hell that I had done anything wrong.”
He maintains that politicians should not abuse parliamentary privilege to smear the names of citizens, adding that Rowley’s allegations has set a precedent and opened up a “Pandora’s box” where anybody could get up in the morning and decide to accuse someone of a heinous act on the basis on an anonymous letter.”