Google shoots down T&T ‘Emailgate’: Ramlogan plans to sue Rowley
(Trinidad Express) ATTORNEYS representing Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday produced a certified affidavit from Google Inc which they claim invalidates the entire emailgate scandal. They now intend to find the conspirators who were responsible for the “diabolical, evil and wicked plot” aimed at destroying the Government.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is to be sued for his role in the fiasco.
On May 20 last year, Rowley presented a series of purported e-mails to the Parliament which, he said, implicated the Prime Minister, Attorney General and Local Government Minister in “high crime”, “misbehaviour of public office” and a massive cover-up. Rowley quoted from a series of e-mails between e-mail accounts firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, believed to be belonging to Ramlogan and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, respectively.
Ramlogan yesterday presented a certified affidavit signed by Chi Nguyen, the custodian of records at Google Inc, which stated “a diligent search and reasonable inquiry of Google’s records produced no information regarding the e-mail email@example.com”. Paragraphs seven and eight of Nguyen’s affidavit stated “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com” were both active accounts owned by Ramlogan and Persad-Bissessar, respectively.
Ramlogan said Google provided all the e-mails between himself and Persad-Bissessar during September 2012 when the emailgate correspondence occurred. He said none of those e-mails sent by Google corresponded to the claims made by Rowley. Ramlogan held a news conference at Cabildo Chambers, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, to present the documents to the media.
Senior counsel Pamela Elder sat alongside Ramlogan.
Christopher Sargent, a partner at ComputerLaw Group LLP, was present through Skype technology. Elder said the e-mails provided by Rowley were forged. “In essence, those documents which were stated to be e-mails and which were moved between certain accounts belonging to the honourable Attorney General and the honourable Prime Minister, they do not exist,” Elder said.
Sargent filed a Notice of Pendency of Other Action or Proceeding at the United State District Court in the Northern District of California.
This was aimed at showing the application filed recently by the Integrity Commission during its investigation into the emailgate scandal was unnecessary. “(This was intended) to bring this matter to the attention of the judge because to avoid multiplicity of proceedings. If Google has already conducted a search then it is an exercise in futility for another search of a similar nature to be conducted,” Elder said.
“The authorisation granted to the Integrity Commission is the same one we secured from the court on behalf of the honourable Attorney General well over a year ago,” Sargent said. Elder said since last year attorneys representing Ramlogan had started legal proceedings to obtain the necessary information from Google. “We could not sit by quietly and twiddle and fiddle or wait while the Integrity Commission twiddled and fiddled with thumb and pen. We had to explore all legal avenues in order to substantiate all we had been saying from day one—that this was a diabolical, evil and wicked plot,” Elder said.
Elder described yesterday as “a day of revelation”.
“Today I must say I bring to mind… what comes to mind is the words… that we waited patiently and expectantly and our cry has been answered. The essence of those documents, the essence, the meat of it, is that those documents which were passed off, which were laid in the House by the honourable Leader of the Opposition, they are not authentic. Not are they only not authentic, they did not emanate from the e-mail account of the honourable Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and the honourable Attorney General,” Elder said.
“We have reached at a position now that you have from Google that those documents which were passed off as e-mails do not exist. Where do we go from here? Well I know what I will be doing, I would be immediately writing the acting Commissioner of Police, the Integrity Commission, the Director of Public Prosecutions to do all that is necessary to unearth the co-conspirators to this evil plot. We do not know who they are, but what we know today is that there is a conspiracy of the most vicious nature, so those miscreants to whom the word honour has no meaning, they have to be unearthed and that is the position I take today.”
Elder said she was awaiting a response from Rowley, who is out of the country. She slammed those who questioned why Ramlogan had not indicated before he had initiated proceedings against Google.
“The Attorney General is represented by counsel and I advised the honourable Attorney General… and when one is dealing with persons, co-conspirators with these tendencies, one has to proceed with the utmost caution because we do not know who they are, we do not know the offices they occupy, we do not know their associates, so we proceeded with all the necessary caution. And today is a day of revelation,” Elder said.
Among the e-mail addresses the Integrity Commission has asked Google to check is “firstname.lastname@example.org”. This address was not part of the e-mail thread read out by Rowley in Parliament. Elder slammed the Integrity Commission for including that e-mail account. “The Integrity Commission is it going off on a frolic of its own. Their investigation is limited to investigating these documents that were presented in the House,” she said.