May 22, 2013 News
By Ria Taitt Political Editor
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley on Monday presented a series of damning e-mails to the Parliament which, he said, implicated the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and Local Government Minister in “high crime”, “misbehaviour of public office” and a massive cover up.
This alleged cover up involved a major conspiracy against: 1) the Director of Public Prosecutions; 2) a plot to harm and discredit reporter Denyse Renne; and 3) the payment of monies in exchange for freedom by an unnamed person. The e-mails coincided with the time when public outrage over the Section 34 scandal had reached its height in October and November 2012.
Rowley quoted from an e-mail from [email protected], sent to [email protected] on the subject “Monies Owed” which stated: “I scoff that it’s too much. We are the ones taking the risk. At the end of this, I want a helipad on my roof top. There is no price for freedom. They know this”.
Rowley said he wanted the Attorney General to say “who is it whose freedom is being bought and what was meant by “no price for freedom”.
He said in another e-mail “kamlapb1 tells [email protected]: “I am worried AG, I do not want this to blow up in our faces. Tone down the request and focus elsewhere for now”.
Rowley said the e-mails also indicated that there was an attempt to plant a bug in the DPP’s office. He quoted from an e-mail from [email protected] to [email protected] sent on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 1.33 a.m.: “We have a problem. Things are getting heated. Need access to taps in DPP office. I want to know what his next move is. How soon can you arrange?”
Said Rowley: “And of course, the captain, whoever he is, captain Gary Griffith “replies seven minutes later” stating “Will call SSA and get B. Dhanpat is out of the country. He would be against this move. You know he leaks”.
Rowley said checks revealed that Dhanpat was in fact out of the country at this particular time and the B referred to “in our interpretation” is the head of the SSA, Bisnath Maharaj.
A further e-mail from “the captain” says: “Everything is already in place in the DPP office”.
The e-mails also showed, according to Rowley, that after the US Embassy and the DPP issued strong statements on the Section 34 matter, [email protected] received from [email protected] and [email protected] at 9.21 on the night of September 11 an e-mail message which stated: “Right now our best bet will be giving Gaspard a position on the bench. We could also feed our media people that Gaspard was part of the consultation at the Hall of Justice this year and he did not have a problem at the meeting. Let us try the judge position first.”
[email protected] responded with this suggestion: “Have a chat with Archie. Let them offer him the position. Archie is normally cooperative”.
But the most alarming e-mails, quoted by Rowley, related to the alleged efforts to silence, discredit and even injure reporter, Denyse Renne.
The e-mail of September 8 reveals that the “Attorney General is asking help from Captain Griffith to stop a story”. The e-mail stated: “There is an article from the Guardian that a reporter from the Guardian called me involving our boys. I need you to get your feelers out there and nip the story”.
Rowley said “lo and behold” in the Sunday Guardian of September 9, under Denyse Renne’s byline the lead story was “Piarco airport cases to be dropped” which detailed how the proclamation of the controversial Section 34 would allow Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson to avoid prosecution.
Following this, an e-mail from [email protected] asking [email protected]: “what is going on? Did you see the article? I thought you had friends in the Guardian. How could this happen?”
Rowley said the reply (from [email protected]) stated: “I saw the article. Not to worry. Remember the Opposition supported this. That will be our defence.”
The language used particularly by [email protected] was extremely colourful. Rowley noted that “anan” was panicking as the Guardian reporter, Renne wrote another story stating that the Attorney General ignored the advice given by extradition expert James Lewis QC on the extradition of Galbaransingh and Ferguson.
“Spoke with the PM and she is furious about the article. What about the reporter? Tag her as well”, Griffith asked “anan”, Rowley said, quoted the e-mail. Rowley satirised that PM “whoever that is, probably project manager—was angry”.
Anan replied: “That f… whore don’t have f.. on me. More than likely she called Thomas at the Embassy. Do a trace on her. Every reporter has skeletons in their closet, and post it to our Facebook people. Find out how the f… she quoted from something (Lewis’ opinion) that she has no access to. I want this by this evening and I want to know who is her source?”
Rowley stated: “When the rest of us are in our beds, seven minutes to midnight, whoever is [email protected] cyar sleep, “and wrote the following e-mail on September 10: “The US contacted me and are f… angry. I thought you had a hold on this. This will cause major backlash. They even threatened to blacklist us. Come up with a plan, AG”.
On September 11, the next day, [email protected] writing to [email protected], continued to hammer the reporter, Denyse Renne. “Something is not right with that bitch. She knows too much. Did you find out her source? I was the only one who had this and she does not know Lewis. She does not know any QC. That I found out from her court colleague. She quoted things and asking questions to lawyers that no one knows. Did you find out anything over how things are at the DPP?”
The response to this e-mail was: “She (the reporter) has a file. It is really touch and go. She was in Florida at an institution in 2003, attempted suicide. Her family are PNM. Dad was in jail and recently released. Also added some stuff and sent it to facebook, they will take it from there”.
Said Rowley: “All that he…whoever that Captain Griffith is…was digging up was not enough. He (captain) say, ‘I will add some stuff’..
We see in an e-mail that somebody is going to set out to defame and slander her (Renne). And of course, we have the corroboration of the e-mail attacking the report in the context of the timing of this e-mail. (There was a poison e-mail against Renne which was sent to many persons).
Rowley said that by September 19, an email from [email protected] goes to [email protected] stating: “This bitch is becoming a problem to me. I am told she has copies of documents and possibly cheques. I don’t want to leave anything to chance. I want that dealt with. Find a way. I passed info to FB – (that is Facebook)- and they would f.. her up. That’s not enough”.
“Do something else to slow her up. PM is angry. I assured her that things will be good. I feel like I failed. Just deal with that bitch soon. If she has what I think, then we will all be implicated”.
Asked Rowley: “Who is so panicked by a reporter who might have cheques and who might be in a position to implicate all of them?”
Rowley said “Suruj” replied: “What do you have in mind? Does she drive, walk? Do you know her movements? She should meet and discuss”.
The Opposition Leader said [email protected] replied: “I don’t care what you do. Just deal with the problem soon. Gary has the file on her. Whatever is done, let it be done through a third party. This is getting out of hand. PM is frantic and is begging me for a distraction. I don’t think anything on Hart will provide that”.
Rowley said he presumed the Hart was Calder Hart.
Rowley said the e-mail from [email protected] continued: “I gave her (the PM) assurance that things will be okay. I also advised her to get rid of Volney.” The PNM Leader noted that the e-mail was dated September 19 and Volney was fired shortly thereafter.
In another e-mail “suruj” told “anan”: “She will face opposition if she even contemplates getting rid of you.”
Rowley said he received these e-mails six months ago. He said the strength of the e-mail lay in the fact that the contents were corroborated by the developments in the country and the actions of the Government at the time. He said he had given the then President of the country (George Maxwell Richards) the e-mails. He said yesterday that he was calling on the DPP to investigate. He said the Integrity Commission was also critical because the e-mails pointed to misbehaviour in public office.
“I also call on the Integrity Commission to discharge its responsibility…And insofar as there is no Integrity Commission in place, I call on the President to immediately ensure that there is an Integrity Commission in place so that these matters can be investigated properly in short order”.
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