Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ventour: Integrity Commission will continue its job

...after receiving legal letters from AG seeking to clear name

INTEGRITY Commission de­puty chairman Justice Sebastian Ventour said yes­ter­day the commission will con­tinue to “do what it has to” after receiving legal letters from Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, pressing for action in the Emailgate scandal.

Ventour confirmed yesterday the commission has received documents from the AG’s legal team, led by Pam­ela Elder SC, but was cautious to comment on a sensitive issue.

“We received the corres­pon­dence,” Ventour said in a telephone interview yesterday.

“Yes, we have read it. The Attor­ney General has done what he had to do and we will also continue to do what we have to do.”

As promised, Ramlogan has officially called on the commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to act on information he said clears his name in Emailgate.

Last Sunday, Ramlogan, suppor­ted by his attorney, Elder, called a news conference where he held up a document he said was issued by Google, as a result of his own sleuthing, which he claimed was certified proof the e-mail address “anan@gmail.com” does not exist.

Ramlogan said he has obtained an affidavit from international web engine Google, signed by that company’s custodian of records, Chi Nguyen, which proves the e-mail address does not exist.

Elder had stated then legal letters would go out to DPP Roger Gaspard, the Integrity Commission and acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, urging action on the information acquired by the AG.

The Integrity Commission had also launched its own investigation and had also written to Google for information on the e-mail addresses publicised by Rowley. 

Ramlogan’s attorneys in Califor­nia, USA, have since notified the court, via notice of pendency of action, that further investigation by the commission might result in a duplication of work.

Ramlogan has since denied this is an attempt to subvert the commission and said the notice is a regular requirement in law.

Ventour said yesterday the com­-

mis­sion is continuing and is awaiting

a response from Google, which the

commission had sued and was gran­ted a subpoena from a federal judge in California to insist on records for anand@gmail.com, anand@tstt.net.tt and kamlapb1@gmail.com.

Google has 14 days to respond as the deadline for objection expired yesterday.

Ventour said the commission will

continue to do what it was mandated to do as soon as a response is forthcoming.

“Of course, we will inform the public at the opportune time,” he said.

Asked to comment on the AG’s defence of the notice issued to the California court, Ventour said he felt the AG’s remarks to be “a fair statement to make”.

As to the commission’s position following the notice of pendency, Ventour said:

“We are pursuing the matter until our lawyers advise otherwise.”



 Trail of alleged e-mails 


It was through the e-mail address of anan@gmail.com, a series of damning conversations were said to have flown, according to Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.

On May 20, 2013, Rowley read the spicy text in Parliament where he said the alleged conversations also implicated other Government 

officials, including Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and were proof of “high crime” in public office.