National Security Minister Gary Griffith has been identified as a critical witness in the criminal investigation of misbehaviour in public office against Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, according to reliable police sources.
The information came as acting Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Harold Phillip, began his probe into the latest criminal allegation linked to the infamous Section 34 fiasco.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Griffith would only repeat: "I have no comment to make on that matter."
But sources said Griffith intended to co-operate with police investigators in the matter.
West yesterday submitted a detailed signed witness statement to the police in support of his complaint that the Attorney General tried to get him to withdraw a witness statement he filed in defence of a defamation lawsuit between Ramlogan and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley relating to the Section 34 matter.
This triggered acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to appoint Phillip to assemble a team to probe the allegation. West has also been provided with a security detail.
Sources said investigators will pore over a chain of events which will take them to the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, to examine court records and through the telephone records of West, Ramlogan and Griffith among other people.
Sources said West last year had confided to a politician about attempts being made to influence him in a court matter. The attempts were made on the same day the High Court gave a decision in the defamation lawsuit against Rowley, police sources said.
Ramlogan, in a detailed press release on Monday, denied West's allegations that he attempted to influence him to withdraw the witness statement in exchange for his appointment as director of the Police Complaints Authority.
That position, under the Constitution, requires consent from both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader before it is sealed by the Office of the President.
Yesterday, members of the media gathered outside the AG's offices, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, after rumours spread he was about to resign and make a statement at a press conference to that effect.
The AG was visited by Communication Minister Vasant Bharath and attorney Wayne Sturge at one point but no press conference materialised and the AG subsequently sent out a release in which he welcomed the probe on the matter.
Emailgate not going away
In a statement yesterday, AG Ramlogan called for a speedy enquiry and labelled the allegation part of a "political conspiracy."
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Ramlogan, Griffith and Works and Transport Minister Suruj Rambachan were identified in a separate criminal investigation relating to the Section 34 matter, now dubbed Emailgate.
It was Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, who in May 2012 disclosed in Parliament a thread of e-mails purportedly being exchanged between the four politicians in the wake of the passage of legislation which was tailored to benefit political financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, who were facing a series of fraud charges relating to the $1.6 billion Piarco Airport Development Project.
That matter, subject to two investigations by the Integrity Commission and the Police Service, are yet to be completed.
The probe by the Integrity Commission has progressed somewhat with e-mail service provider Google to comply with a subpoena in a California, USA court to hand over the e-mail records of Ramlogan and Persad-Bissessar.
The police matter is now lodged with the United States Department of Justice, the T&T Guardian learned.
The conspiracy detailed in the thread of e-mails disclosed a plot to spy on Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, remove him from office by influencing Chief Justice Ivor Archie to appoint Gaspard to the High Court bench and harm investigative journalist Denyse Renne among other things.
The four politicians have previously denied any wrongdoing in the Emailgate matter and described the thread of e-mails as a fabrication.