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US lawyer’s case
Yesterday, Ag Ramlogan’s US attorney Chris Young, of the Computerlaw Group of Palo Alto, California, USA, said Ramlogan was making claims for conspiracy, defamation and invasion of privacy, among other things.
He said Ramlogan had retained the firm in his personal capacity and all payments to the firm had come from Ramlogan’s personal account. Young said after the firm sent Google a letter requesting the production of documents, several weeks later a complaint was filed in the Santa Clara Superior Court on June 26, 2013.
Young added: “The action my firm filed for the Attorney General includes claims by Mr Ramlogan under California law for conspiracy to ruin, defamation, false light invasion of privacy, and others. “The defendants named in that action were and are ‘John and Jane Doe’ as we are not currently aware of who caused the significant harm my client has suffered, and upon discovery of the actual person behind this wrongful conduct, any such persons will be named as the defendant in the pending action in California.
“Furthermore, it has been and continues to be my understanding that the statements made against Attorney General Ramlogan underlying the claims we filed are quite serious, and if substantiated, could lead to criminal charges against Mr Ramlogan. “Our client seeks further vindication that these alleged e-mails were not sent from or received by his e-mail account to support the institution of legal proceedings in the appropriate forum against those responsible for these damaging and defamatory allegations against himself and the Prime Minister.”
On the importance of the information held by Google, he commented: “Our managing partner, Jack Russo, has stated, ‘In the future, just as in the present, Google is playing a larger and larger role in the management of information critical to litigation, and without Google's co-operation in the collection and return of accurate data about what was actually an e-mail address and what was actually e-mailed through their Gmail (and other) systems, it will be difficult if not impossible to obtain the truth.’
“Thus, we fully support Google co-operating with all parties to obtain all authentic and genuine records in the Google system and we have ourselves in multiple rounds of subpoena process over Google with the same truth-finding goals on behalf of our client, the Honourable Anand Ramlogan, whom we fully expect to be vindicated by all this. “We are hopeful that the sworn statement will be completed reasonably soon. This has been a very challenging matter but in light of the sensitive of the issues and the ongoing litigation in the Superior Court, we cannot comment on the outstanding legal issues.”
On whether Google could refuse to comply with the subpoena, Young said: “The California courts have the power to compel Google to comply with the subpoena and can issue increasingly severe sanctions should Google refuse to comply. “Here, Google agreed to search the e-mail accounts of the Honourable Attorney General and Prime Minister, and our client has insisted on sworn testimony regarding the search and its results. As noted above, we are currently awaiting a sworn affidavit.