T&T PM gives up her laptop and PC

(Trinidad Express) Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar handed over a laptop and desktop computer to police investigators yesterday but remained mum on what transpired du­ring the two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting.

She was accompanied by Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal; her attorney, Israel Khan; and US-based compu­ter expert Jon Berryhill in the meeting with Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson at the Police Headquarters, Sackville Street, Port of Spain.

“We had a very fruitful discussion,” Persad-Bissessar said.

“As you know, this matter is an ongoing police investigation and, therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it.”

Khan, who had previously been both vocal about the veracity of the e-mails and critical of the slow pace of investiga­tions, also declined to comment on the matter.

The investigation began on May 22, two days after Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley released 31 e-mails purporting to be an exchange among key Government members, during a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister in Parliament.

The e-mails allegedly implicated Per­sad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Moonilal in the Section 34 conspiracy and several were also copied to Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan and Persad-Bissessar’s security adviser, Gary Griffith.

Since then, Ramlogan has made several public statements on the e-mail thread and released an opinion from an information technology team who deemed the e-mails to be fake. Khan also flew in Berryhill from California, who had spent several hours looking over the printed documents and also determined that they were fake.

Richardson subsequently referred to those parallel investigations and determinations as “sideshows”, saying they did not influence his official investigation.

“The investigation continues,” Persad-Bissessar said, but refused to say more.

She repeated, “It would be inappropriate to discuss this matter”, to every other question posed by the media.

Griffith, accompanied by his lawyer, Robin Montano, entered the police building just before 10 a.m. yesterday and exited less than an hour later. They too refused to comment on the issue.

“I am dealing with my own issue,” Griffith said, in response to questions from the media regarding his presence at the Police Headquarters.

“If I have anything to say, I’ll e-mail it,” he said as he left.

Ramlogan, in a telephone interview yesterday, said his legal team was responsible for dealing with the police

investigation. He said like the Prime Min­­ister, he, too, was asked to submit the make and type of his electronic devi­ces.

A source close to the investigation said police copied all the information off Persad-Bissessar’s electronic devi­ces for only the month of September. The source also said she has agreed to give written permission to the investiga­tors to allow the international service provider Google to access e-mail information for the same month.

The source also said legal advisers for both Ramlogan and Rambachan already spoke with investigators on their behalf.

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