On May 20th 2013, then Opposition Leader Keith Rowley apparently misled Parliament about a plot by then PM Kamla Persad Bissessar. The conspiracy being a plot to harm and discredit reporter Denyse Renne, undermine the office of the DPP and pay monies in exchange for freedom by an unnamed person.
The 31 email thread included a conversation that comprised four persons whose email accounts proved similar to PM, Anand Ramlogan, then National Security Advisor Gary Griffith and Government Minister Suruj Rambachan. In 2013, Rowley said he approached President George Maxwell Richards and then Integrity Commission Chairman, Kenneth Gordon, six months earlier.
Both Google Inc. and the Integrity Commission indicated that the emails were false. The police completed its report in 2016, essentially indicating that the conspiracy did not exist. The report was then forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard who recused himself since he was a material witness appointing Deputy DPP Joan Honore-Paul to handle the matter.
Ms Honore-Paul’s actions, post receipt of the report, can best be described as extremely curious. Comments attributed to her indicated that the investigation related “not only to whether the emails were in fact sent in September 2012 but also whether there may have been acts by particular persons which amount to misconduct in public office.” There was also some novel legal concept of an “examination of events outside of the four corners of the purported email correspondence”. She gave the unfortunate impression that notwithstanding the fact that Dr Rowley’s statements were false (which is all that she was required to assess); the statements may have been valid.
Whatever her views, obfuscatory or otherwise, the fact is that months and years after, this matter is still to be resolved from the DPP’s office.
Who has benefitted and still benefits from this unresolved matter?
If it favours Dr Rowley as I suspect, can one not reasonably conclude that the supposedly independent DPP’s office has taken a position which on the surface appears to favour one side of our political divide.
Does the Office of the DPP not understand that it could be construed that it acted, and is still acting, in favour of the PNM?
If ever we lose faith in our independent institutions untold damage will be done to our democracy given suspicions of the pervasive influence of the long arm of this PNM Executive administration. It has already undermined the TTPS, the TTDF, the Integrity Commission and most recently the Police Service Commission.
Our failure to have faith in our independent institutions can be a reason why the CCJ cannot get the requisite support.
This can even affect our belief in whether or not the CCJ can be expected to be completely independent over the long haul.
Ms. Honore-Paul, please do your job expeditiously for which you are being handsomely paid. If not, incorrect conclusions about your independence may be made. It is now way past the time when such a simple matter under your remit should be put to rest.
MP for Naparima