Gaspard: I was never approached to be a judge
TWO days after controversial e-mail exchanges were revealed in Parliament by Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard has said he was never approached by any Government official to be a judge.
Gaspard broke his silence on the issue after inferences were made in the purported e-mails between Government officials that they were considering approaching Gaspard to offer him a position on the bench.
An alleged e-mail read in Parliament by Rowley purported to originate from email@example.com on September 11 and was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com: “Right now our best bet will be giving Gaspard a position on the bench and bring in a replacement. 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’s try the judge position first.”
Gaspard responded yesterday: “Nobody has ever approached me.”
That privilege, pointed out Gaspard, is only reserved for the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC).
“The JLSC acting properly, only make you an offer to sit on the bench if you would have indicated any interest by means of an application. I have never applied.”
Also mentioned in the e-mail exchanges were access to taps in the DPP’s office. Rowley read in Parliament an e-mail which allegedly came from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com on September 10, 2012, which stated:
“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?”
Gaspard said he knew nothing about this and, to his recollection from the e-mails circulated in the media, phone tapping was only one of the avenues available, inferences could also be made for bugging and interception.
Usually, a request must be made by law enforcement authorities through the Interception of the Communications Act to a judge in chambers if they want to make an application to intercept an individual’s phone communications and otherwise.
Asked to share his sentiment about this alleged serious and invasive breach, if it turned out to be true, Gaspard stated, “I have no pronouncement to make on this. Bearing in mind I will say more in a press release by the end of the week.”
Gaspard said he wanted to be circumspect in his comments, because of the crucial responsibility he holds as the DPP.
The DPP said no law enforcement authorities had even contacted him since these revelations were made. “Since Rowley broke the story in Parliament, no one has spoken to me about anything mentioned by Rowley,” he said.