Welcome to any closure that comes on Emailgate.
That was Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissesssr’s view yesterday following Thursday’s comment by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith on TV6 that he intends in coming weeks to close open matters such as Emailgate and other ‘Gates ‘ concerning former Government officials. That included “Ganjagate” and “Prisongate”.
Griffith’s comments were made to TV6 host Fazeer Mohammed.
Yesterday, Persad- Bissessar said, “If it comes to that, we’d welcome closure on Emailgate on what was obviously a fake matter. It’s been too long in coming. We’ve reiterated many times it was completely false and have repeatedly called for the outcome.”
Emailgate arose in 2013 with alleged emails produced by then Opposition Leader Keith Rowley (now Prime Minister) claiming a conspiracy by leading PP Government officials regarding the Section 34 legislation issue. Griffith was in the PP Government then. PP officials allowed scrutiny of their computers and phones. The matter was subject of police probes locally and with foreign email service providers. Then Commissioner Stephen Williams in 2013 said the emails were fake. In 2015, Williams said police weren’t being pushed into revealing the outcome. In March 2016 it was reported to police investigators submitted their report, finding “no criminal conduct.”
“Ganjagate” involved alleged 2013 discovery of marijuana in the gazebo on the Palmiste property of Persad- Bissessar when she was then PM. Former PP Minister Jack Warner alleged that on April 12, 2013, then deputy commissioner of police Mervyn Richardson informed him a packet containing four ounces of marijuana was found outside a window of Persad-Bissessar’s home.
Warner, who was national security minister then, claimed he, Richardson, then National Security adviser Griffith (now Commissioner) and (then) housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal conspired to cover it up.
Police probe of that— plus Police Complaints Authority investigations— was launched in 2015 when police confirmed a “plant-like material” was found on the property but gave a different date and location from Warner’s account.
“Prisongate” arose from 2013 concerns by former Solicitor General Eleanor Donalds0n-Honeywell who wrote Persad- Bissessar seeking investigation of alleged collusion involving attorneys in prison litigation cases against the State. She cited concerns about breach of professional ethics for indirect/direct financial gain and unethical business ventures.
UNC deputy leader David Lee also said yesterday,” We’ve noted the commissioner’s statements on closing Emailgate and other longstanding matter, we hope the ‘Gates will be closed properly and in the interest of the law. But we hope he will take legal action against people who perpetrated Emailgate since those ‘emails’ were found to be false and fake,”
Persad- Bissessar also dismissed as false, an email sent to the media yesterday, allegedly from the address of a UNC activist. This purported to leak a document from her with a list of names of general election “candidates”.
Persad- Bissessar said, “There’s no such list. I’ve indicated when our National Assembly meets later this month then we’ll open nominations. It’s only after screening any candidates can arise, “
She said the person in whose name the false email originated called her yesterday to say his address was used.
The list carried the name of OWTU leader Ancel Roget to “be confirmed” for Pointe a Pierre. Persad- Bissessar said Roget wasn’t even a UNC member. Several UNC officials and members whose names were on the list also distanced themselves from it.
On Monday, Persad-Bissessar holds a caucus with all MPs and Senators to plan for work ahead.