August 15 marked ten years since the death of iconic artist Ian Ali, a man who made a pioneering contribution to Trinidad and Tobago’s local landscape through art and television.
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AG waits for Google info
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan filed a suit in the US courts against Google in June 2013 to ascertain the truth behind the May 2013 E-mailgate scandal which the People’s National Movement (PNM) raised, because he had suspicions about the meeting between PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley and Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon days before E-mailgate broke. Another US attorney on Monday undertook action in the United States on behalf of the Integrity Commission to order Google to provide information to aid in the investigations.
E-mailgate was raised when Rowley displayed several e-mails under cover of parliamentary privilege and alleged top government officials had been involved in a conspiracy. He called on the commission to investigate the matter.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her colleagues denied any involvement in the alleged conspiracy but the PM ordered Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to probe the matter.
Gordon subsequently confirmed he hosted a private meeting with Rowley at his Glencoe home on May 15, days before Rowley in Parliament called on the commission to probe the purported e-mails.
Ramlogan hired a US computer law specialist firm a month after the E-mailgate issue to take action with Google to delve into the matter. On the commission’s legal action in the US this week, Ramlogan said yesterday: “Why did they take so long? What’s the reason for the unexplained inordinate delay in taking what was an obvious first step? “After the issue arose I was forced to take action, as I was concerned about the secret meeting that occurred between Rowley and the Integrity Commission chairman, and I publicly voiced concerns. “My suspicions were about political conspiracy and I was concerned the Integrity Commission would not immediately sue Google for the latter to protect and preserve the information of our e-mail accounts.”
Ramlogan said he was concerned that if the commission took too long to sue Google, “Google could say it was no longer possible to retrieve requested information on our accounts, as they only retain information for a 12-month period. “If that was the case, the Integrity Commission and other authorities could have indicated their findings were inconclusive and they were unable to say if the e-mails were in fact sent out, and that would have left a lingering cloud of suspicion overhead and Dr Rowley would have used it in the election campaign to say we cannot be trusted. I took action and sued Google myself since then.”
On the commission’s recent move to go after Google, Ramlogan said it led him to wonder if his suspicions were correct in the first place, “and if there was indeed more in the mortar than the pestle. “I therefore remain very sceptical and suspicious about that secret meeting that occurred.”
Those named in E-mailgate scandal
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal
Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan
Gary Griffith, Then national security adviser to the PM and now National Security Minister
The e-mails reportedly concerned plots to:
• Plant electronic spy devices in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
• Offer the DPP a judgeship.
• Accept payment in exchange for the freedom of people set to benefit from the Section 34 fiasco in September 2012.
• Harm an investigative journalist, Denyse Renne, who at that time worked for the T&T Guardian.