Monday 14 October, 2019

PM: UNC not vindicated in Emailgate probe

File photo.

File photo.

The United National Congress (UNC) has not been vindicated in the email gate probe.

This is according to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, in response to the announcement by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) that the investigation has been closed.

Speaking at the weekly post cabinet media briefing on Thursday, Rowley said the UNC cannot claim vindication when the Director of Public Prosecution’s report says in its conclusion that its office can neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the emails.

“First line in the conclusion, is the authenticity of the 31 subject emails can neither be confirmed or denied. That is not what the UNC is saying. The UNC is saying that they have been vindicated, hey have been exonerated. Well,we are saying once the DPP is saying it cannot be confirmed or denied, there is no vindication in that. There is no exoneration in that. It is just what the DPP says here. It cannot be confirmed or denied for the reasons given.”

The Prime Minister also noted that the DPP’s report indicated that there was sufficient substance to the allegations, which resulted in the granting of a warrant by a US judge to search the servers of internet providers, Microsoft Corporation and Google Inc.

“It goes on to say, however evidence gathered supported the fact that several of the events referred to in those emails can be confirmed as having actually occurred in the way and at the time referred to in the emails." 

"This last assertion is supported by the fact that an independent district court judge in the United States of America was satisfied that the evidence had sufficient cogency to result in the granting of the warrant to search the servers of the internet providers, Microsoft Corporation and Google Inc." 

"So in other words, there was sufficient substance to the allegations or for the request for an inquiry to cause the US courts to grant the warrant to search at Google and at Microsoft but as was pointed out by the DPP before they were told by those agencies because you have come nine months later no preservation of those emails could have been guaranteed and therefore we cannot say yay or nay. And that is why the DPP is saying you can neither confirm or deny,” Rowley said.

Rowley also responded to calls for this resignation, in light of the closure of the probe.

The Prime Minister said there was no need to resign or apologise.

“In simple English, the DPP, the evidence that were being utilised to further these investigations was not sufficient for a charge to be laid against anybody. It doesn’t say that there is no evidence. It says it does not reach the threshold. So it exists to some level but not the threshold to be satisfied that if you lay a charge, you stand a better than average chance than getting a conviction," he said."

We are familiar with that situation in our country on a regular basis. This is a country where we know what this means. It means that you get away but you weren’t charged. It doesn’t mean that nothing happened. And whoever was involved here, it is not the first time that this happen in this country, that you have been investigated, you found some evidence but not sufficient to lay a charge," he continued.

So this thing about fake this and fake that and who should apologise and who should resign, they are trying to take us down their rabbit hole and we not going there at all,” Rowley concluded.

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