UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS
ROWLEY ADMITS PURPORTED DOCUMENTS MAY NOT BE AUTHENTIC
The United National Congress stands by statements made by its leader, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, S.C., that the “emails” circulated by the Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley, are bogus and were designed to damage and scandalise her good name and the reputation of members of the Cabinet and the government. We agree that it was all part of an effort to bring the Office of the Prime Minister and the duly elected Government into disrepute.
American forensic expert Jon Berryhill, who is one of the leading experts in the field of IT investigations, has concluded that the “emails” were all frauds.
Dr. Rowley’s latest explanation of why there should be an investigation that is independent of the police is illogical and is typical of the Opposition Leader’s knee-jerk reaction to issues. He is now saying the issue is not the authenticity of the “emails”, but whether the conversations took place and that the service provider should verify the details.
This is another one of his more silly arguments to date. In order for an email ‘conversation’ to take place the first requirement is to have proper email addresses. If the addresses are bogus the conversation cannot take place.
Dr. Rowley has now conceded that the addresses are fraudulent and is clutching at straws to salvage what is left of his political career.
We also take serious issue with the Leader of the Opposition insulting Mr. Berryhill, calling him a ‘charlatan’ at a PNM meeting Tuesday night. Even if he disagrees with Mr. Berryhill’s conclusions he is in no position to use such pejorative language to describe the man, especially when he himself admitted in Parliament that he was just short of being a techno-moron.
The UNC also stands by our leader’s call for Dr. Rowley to take responsibility for his May 15, 2013 secret meeting with Mr. Ken Gordon, Chairman of the Integrity Commission. We reject the PNM’s position that it no different from the Prime Minister holding official meetings at her private residence. That is an attempt to distract from the real issue.
There is no similarity between meetings – including Cabinet meetings – at different locations.
What Dr. Rowley did in his secret meeting was compromise the Chairman of the Commission and himself and brought both offices into disrepute. We reaffirm the question asked by our leader as to whether or not Dr. Rowley should face charges of misbehavior in public office.
We agree with the PNM that its leader is “no less a citizen than any reporter” and therefore “fully entitled” to make enquiries of the Commission. Our objection is the clandestine and secretive manner in which he made the inquiry. He did not follow proper and ethical procedure and must accept responsibility for the breach of confidentiality.
The Integrity in Public Life Act states in Section 35 that all matters such as the one about Dr. Rowley enquired must not be shared with anyone unless there is a court order. Dr. Rowley neither wrote the commission seeking information nor sought a court order. In his usual style he felt he could just demand it from the chairman. And unfortunately, Mr. Gordon allowed himself to be used and now finds himself in a position where there is a national chorus demanding his resignation.
The Party is also saddened that Senator Fitzgerald Hinds who spoke on the same platform used the occasion to deride the Prime Minister in the most vile manner in the presence of senior women members of the PNM. This kind of vitriolic attack from a party that boasts equality for all regardless of gender, would surely not go unnoticed by the electorate.