Attorneys representing former senior journalist, now special adviser to the Prime Minister, Sasha Mohammed, say they have evidence she never sent threatening e-mails to Trinidad Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder and reporter Anna Ramdass.A letter sent to Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs, signed by attorney Ravi Rajcoomar, yesterday stated "such evidence" would be forwarded to him only on the condition he could justify the complaint was one which should have ever engaged the T&T Police Service or constituted a criminal offence known to the laws of T&T.Attorneys Kelvin Ramkissoon and Jagdeo Singh also are representing Mohammed.The attorneys also asked Gibbs to respond within three days, "having regard to the vortex of negative publicity which the issues surrounding this matter have generated."Almost five months after a report was made by Lyder and Ramdass that they received threatening e-mails by "Janice Thomas" police claimed they (e-mails) were sent from Mohammed's home computer at the end of a probe on Friday.
The e-mails were sent in January after the newspaper published a story about the appointment of Reshmi Ramnarine as director of the Strategic Services Agency.On Friday, police issued a stern warning to Mohammed who was in the company of attorney Om Lalla at the CID office.According to the law, it is a criminal offence to cause a person harm or distress through gesture, directly, verbally, telephone, computer, post or in any other way.Such an offence, under Section 30A of the Offences Against the Person Act, carries a $10,000 fine and five years in prison or summary conviction to a fine of $5,000 and six months in prison.
Mohammed's attorneys called on Gibbs to state the offence she allegedly committed, "since we are instructed that despite the admonition issued by the police to her, curiously, no specific offence was identified."The letter stated: "The position of our client, however, has been and continues to be that she denies knowledge about the issuing of the said purported e-mails to the concerned parties and in this regard cannot be held culpable."
Contents of the three-page letter repeatedly demanded clarification on the offence committed.It also stated none of the basic procedural requirements were followed by the police during Friday's interview.The letter added: "In the circumstances where the said police officers met with our client and issued a warning to her, there would have had to be a basis in law to do so."We therefore now seek clarification from you as to what is the specific offence which our client is alleged to have committed and the particulars thereof." It added the contents of Friday's interview had been "surreptitiously leaked" from the police to the media which led to "a veritable media frenzy." The attorneys called on Gibbs to launch an investigation to determine who was responsible for such "atransgression to the detriment of our client."
It is an offence
Senior Counsel Theodore Guerra said Mohammed's alleged acts constituted a criminal offence and the police were wrong to reprimand her.In an interview yesterday, Guerra said: "The police have the facts and they ought to proceed to the courts and let a magistrate come to a conclusion.
"The police were wrong."
He said while it was a practice in policing to use discretion, the police had no authority to pardon a crime but to prosecute persons who broke the law.Attorney Osborne Charles SC said it was a serious crime which carried a penalty.Meanwhile, attorney Daniel Khan said it was within the discretion of a police officer investigating a complaint of a minor criminal offence not to charge the alleged offender but instead reprimand and warn."Sending a threatening e-mail to specific persons could amount to the criminal offence of common assault," Khan said.