Francesca Hawkins, secretary of the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT), says the threatening e-mails allegedly sent to Express Editor-in-Chief (Omatie Lyder) and reporter Anna Ramdass compromise Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar's office and the defence of the press as enshrined in the constitution of T&T.She was responding to the police investigation which unearthed the threatening e-mails which were sent to Lyder and Express reporter Anna Ramdass by someone adopting the alias "Janice Thomas" in connection with the Reshmi Usha Ramnarine story being investigated by the Express.
Hawkins said: "We view with great concern a digital trace has been connected to a computer in the home of a senior government adviser and a former senior journalist. We feel this compromises the PM's office and the defence of the press as enshrined in the constitution of T&T."Hawkins also said MATT commends the cyber crime unit for its serious approach to the investigation.
"We view it as an ongoing investigation and feel a prompt response from Government would be appropriate at this time. We await further developments," added Hawkins.On February 1, MATT issued its first press release on this matter.MATT said: "Journalists have a duty to report in the public interest, facts whose revelation may sometimes cause distress to certain sectors or individuals."MATT President Kerry Peters is abroad.
Pantin: I got hate mails, too
Meanwhile another member of the media fraternity-retired Express columnist and senior journalist Raoul Pantin claimed that he received hate e-mail from Mohammed, posing under the alias Janice Thomas. In a media report, he referred to her scathing comments to him (and others) as "malicious" and has said Persad-Bissessar should "fire her, immediately" since her "credibility is zero".
Ramlogan: The law provides recourse
Interviewed yesterday, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said: "The use or misuse of the Internet by a senior employee in her private capacity is a matter over which no employer has any control."It gives rise for concern if it touches and concerns the performance of her official duties."He also said the law provides recourse for those affected."It would be improper for me to make any comment on the question of criminal action because that is a matter for the police and the DPP."