Attorney General Anand Ramlogan will decide whether to refer the matter involving wiretapping to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard to explore the possibility of laying charges. Ramlogan was among several others allegedly being secretly monitored by a unit known as the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA). A substantial number of names included people who were involved in litigation against the previous administration. Condemning the actions of the former administration, Ramlogan said: "In my capacity as AG I condemn the actions of the former administration in the strongest possible terms. It undermines the rule of law. It is a sinister distortion of democracy. It has breached the sacred social pact between the State and its citizens."
Describing the latest revelation as a "dangerous twist," Ramlogan said he was deeply concerned that several of his clients he represented in private practice were also being monitored.
"I am horrified by the revelation that my phone was tapped since 2005 because back then most of my clients were with cases against the former Prime Minister and his government. "This is a dangerous twist; it is frightening to think that a privileged and confidential conversation between a lawyer and his client could have been intercepted. This definitely compromises the pursuit for justice." He also wondered about the amount of money allocated to the SIA and the Special Anti-Crime Unit, adding that police officers continued to operate with obsolete equipment in the fight against crime.
Sir Ellis: More info is needed
Former president Sir Ellis Clarke is of the view that there may be a legitimate explanation for His Excellency George Maxwell Richards' telephone being monitored by the SIA. Sir Ellis said: "We need to get the complete picture and not play around with bits and pieces. When it was said his name was on a list, we must know what was the purpose. There can be all sorts of explanations. I need to know exactly what are the true facts. I need to know much more than what was revealed before I make a full statement."
Citizens seeking legal advice
Meanwhile, Sunday Guardian understands several people who were being monitored are now seeking legal advice on how to proceed. But according to former Independent senator, Dana Seetahal, there must be sufficient evidence to show that a citizen's rights were infringed. "If there is evidence that a person's rights were violated there could be a breach under the Constitution. If these people acted not on their own initiative but on behalf of a State official it is possible to bring an action against your Constitutional rights," Seetahal said. Referring to a similar case in England, Seetahal said under the English Post Office Act the wire tapping of telephones was legal. However, it was later considered to be improper and the law was amended. "It was the perceived opponents of the Prime Minister and the People's National Movement that were being monitored. To say that it was done on the grounds for national security sounds well except there is no legislative basis for doing it."