The Integrity Commission has decided to close the emailgate affair, leading Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to claim a major victory for her office.
In a letter to the Prime Minister’s attorney, Senior Counsel Israel Khan yesterday, the Commission informed that “pursuant to section 34(6) of the (Integrity in Public Life ) Act” it was “satisfied that there are no or insufficient grounds for continuing the investigation into the above matter and accordingly this investigation is hereby terminated.”
On the basis of section 35 of the Act, the Commission said it is unable to disclose the information it has received on the matter.
That section states that the records of the Commission and any information revealed by a witness or by the production of documents shall not be disclosed except in matters going before a court, and it also warns of a $250,000 fine and five years in prison as penalties for anyone found guilty of disclosing or attempting to disclose any related information or evidence.
In a statement issued last night following the release of the Integrity Commission letter to Khan, the Prime Minister said the Commission’s ruling effectively clears her and the Parliament of any impropriety with respect to Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley’s “fake email” allegations.
Contacted last night, Khan said he had no comment to make on the ruling, stating he will only speak after the Prime Minister herself makes a public pronouncement on the ruling. Asked by Newsday about the contents of a letter he wrote to the Commission on the emailgate probe on April 29, and the response he received on May 6, Khan again said he could not comment until he had the clearance of his client, Persad-Bissessar.
The Prime Minister said later: “This is a major victory for the Office of the Prime Minister and the sovereignty of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. I am pleased the finding of the Integrity Commission has vindicated me. Of course I always knew that I had acted appropriately.”
The Prime Minister added, “Now we can move on to the real issue here: that is the Opposition Leader’s arrogant actions in misleading the Parliament and impugning members of the Government.”
She continued, “If he will do this to Office of the PM, what would he do to those less able to defend themselves. If elected whom would he bully and harass?
“Now that the Integrity Commission has pronounced and concluded their investigations, the country must move on to the real issues facing us and resolve to deal with the challenges that face us at this time.”
She said, “The Opposition Leader’s leadership is again called into question and once again it shows that he is unfit to lead our country.”
Humbled by the ruling, Persad-Bissessar thanked all for their concern and support during what has been a sordid period.”..READ MORE