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Saturday 8 August, 2020

AG: 'Emailgate' matter far from over

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the ‘emailgate’ issue is far from over and said several critical questions still need to be asked.

His statements came after Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said police completed their investigation regarding emails describing an alleged plot to undermine the judiciary, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and media, under the former United National Congress (UNC) government, saying nothing of substance was identified.

Al-Rawi said, however that as AG, he received confirmation from a Special Branch report which showed that there was listening equipment in the conference room of the DPP’s office.

I can tell you now, as Attorney General, that we have confirmed that SIS (Super Industrial Services), through its ownership of EBSL (Executive Bodyguard Services Limited), replaced the security in the DPP’s office and I can certify now that there was a Special Branch report produced which demonstrated that there was infrared technology, listening equipment capability, in the conference room of the DPP. So that is a fact,” Al-Rawi said.

He added that several persons had not been interviewed during the investigation. 

I am told that several persons were not interviewed by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) as to the substantive allegations and it may very well be that what the TTPS was looking at, I don’t know, because I’m not a member, nor have I asked the TTPS about this,” he said.

He said several questions concerning the investigation still need to be asked.

“What Trinidad and Tobago has to ask itself is, what was being investigated, was being investigated, is it the existence of emails? If that is the case, what period is the investigation looking at?

“I am aware that the period for investigation came about by way of a mutual legal assistance request on the 4th of November 2014, where Google was being asked to look at a very narrow window.”

“It was being asked to look at the period August 31, 2012 to September 30, 2012. In other words, if there was substantive evidence of emails of the type put out that were in the month of July 2012, or in the month of October 2012, you would find nothing.”

“So was the window narrow? What was being looked for, was it a broad search over a period of time?”

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Al-Rawi added that the next question to be asked was whether the police investigation involved investigating the corrupt elements of the ‘emailgate’ saga.

“Did anyone approach the Chief Justice and investigate whether he had a conversation or there was an approach to him by a sitting member of the Cabinet then with respect to the elevation of the DPP to a judge?”

“What we have to ask the country is to consider whether the investigation was – as to the existence of emails, per se – were there actual emails that said that? Or was the substance of what emailgate spoke about true or not, and more particularly was that investigated?” Al-Rawi said.

Al-Rawi also asked whether any emails had been deleted prior to the investigation. 

“The other question that must be asked is were emails deleted? Because the wrong period was asked for. I am aware that Google cannot speak to material which was deleted prior in time."

“There are a number of open issues on this table and the emailgate saga is far from over,” he said.


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