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Rowley hires Ramesh for E-mailgate defence

Published: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Marabella Trainline resident Ronald Williams make a point to PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley during a walkabout in his community yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley last night revealed for the first time his private conversation with former Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon in the E-mailgate affair.

He also said he had hired Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj to defend him against the impending lawsuit to be brought by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the matter.

Speaking at a public meeting in Marabella, Rowley said after he had gotten a thread of e-mails bearing similar addresses as those of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, then attorney general Anand Ramlogan and two other politicians, Suruj Rambachan and Gary Griffith in 2011, he took them to then president George Maxwell Richards.

Richards, in turn, forwarded the e-mails to the Integrity Commission. After six months had elapsed, Rowley said he tried to find out the status of the investigation, but when he called for the chairman of the Integrity Commission he did not reach him.

He said while on the way to his home, Gordon returned his call and asked him if the matter he wanted to discuss was urgent.

It was in that scenario, Rowley said, that he went to Gordon's home and asked him one question.

Whether the matter was being investigated? He said Gordon's response was no.

In May 2012, Rowley referred to 31 e-mails in Parliament which outlined a criminal plot to bug the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, an offer of judgeship to the DPP and a plot to harm an investigative journalist who was probing the circumstances relating to the passage of legislation which favoured two political financiers in the Secton 34 matter.

Rowley said last night that Ramlogan and former sports minister Anil Roberts were among those who were quick to accuse him of fabricating the e-mails.

He said he would have been stupid to fabricate the e-mails and then take them to the President and ask for a probe.

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams on Tuesday confirmed that the police service had received a "voluminous" file from US e-mail service provider Google Inc. and that they were in the process of analysing the information.

On Monday, at a political meeting in Brazil Village, East Trinidad, Persad-Bissessar signalled her intention to sue Rowley for defamation in relation to the E-mailgate allegations.

Rowley said last night he was prepared to defend himself and had only today retained Persad-Bissessar's political adversary, former attorney general Maharaj, to lead his legal team, and intended to call another, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, to see if he was willing to also represent him.

He said if the lawsuit becomes a reality he intends to call the DPP and the Chief Justice as his defence witnesses.

Rowley also called on the police to reopen the case involving official Judiciary documents being found in a lawyers’ office and launch a criminal probe into how judgment in default was entered against him in a defamation lawsuit filed by Ramlogan.​