PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday March 4, 2015, CMC – Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley has dismissed threats of a motion of no confidence being filed against him by Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar saying she is now engaged in “guerrilla war” against a witness in a law suit involving her former attorney general Anand Ramlogan.
“The Prime Minister is engaging in guerrilla warfare against the witness, terrorising people who have spoken the truth, firing Cabinet ministers who promised not to lie and waging war against the Opposition Leader.
“I have no responsibility to tell the Prime Minister what her advisor did not tell her and in this particular case her advisor is the litigant who filed the lawsuit against me,” Rowley said.
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar addressing a political meeting of her ruling United National Congress (UNC) said she had “instructed the Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives in the Parliament to file a motion of no confidence against the Leader of the Opposition over Dr. Rowley’s failure and refusal to disclose the fact that Mr. (David) West was a potential witness for him in support of his defence in a pending defamation lawsuit brought by the former attorney general”.
“I have also instructed our lawyers to advise on whether Dr. Rowley’s silence, misrepresentation, violated the provisions of the Integrity in Public Life Act so as to justify an investigation by the Integrity Commission. Our lawyers will advise whether there is a prima facie case to show that Dr. Rowley is in breach of the Integrity in Public Life Act,” she added.
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar dismissed Ramlogan and her national security minister Gary Griffith following the disclosure by the police that they had launched an investigation into possible charges of perverting the course of justice against Ramlogan.
The police probe was sparked by Griffith indicating that he had been asked by the then attorney general to get West, the director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to withdraw a witness statement in support of Rowley in a defamation suit bright against him by Ramlogan.
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar has been calling for West’s removal from the post in light of the allegations and had also written President Anthony Carmona on establishing an independent commission to probe West.
But Rowley said the statement by the prime minister is nothing more than a distraction “by threatening the vote of no confidence.
“The behaviour of the Prime Minister leaves a lot to be desired in a country that has so many challenges to be addressed. At the moment the Prime Minister is operating in the context of fear,” Rowley said.
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar has also hinted that she may take legal action against Rowley over the controversial “emailgate” scandal in which she and some of her senior government ministers were allegedly involved in a sinister plot to undermine the judiciary, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the media.
The police announced that they had received communication from the inyernet search engine “Google” regarding the issue and Persad Bissessar said “ if the e-mail information sent from the US authorities has in fact been received directly from Google by the police concerning my e-mail account and those of other ministers, then those investigations must move with dispatch, must move swiftly to conclude that investigation having regard of the serious nature of the allegations.
“I ask that the findings be made public as a matter of urgency so the damage done to our country’s reputation can be restored,” she added.
But Rowlley said he was not perturbed reminding reporters that a pre-action protocol letter had been sent to him nearly two years ago and it now seems the prime minister is still undecided on whether she would proceed with legal action.
“I invite the Prime Minister to file a lawsuit because I am ready, willing and able to engage her and everybody else associated with the contents of those e-mails. So I’m anxiously awaiting those e-mails,” Rowley said.
In May 2013, Rowley, during his motion of no confidence against the Government, disclosed the contents of 31 e-mails purporting to be exchanges between Prime Minister Persad Bissessar, Ramlogan, Local Government Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan and then-national security adviser Gary Griffith.
“If the Prime Minister is so upset about an investigation that points to wrongdoing in her government, what is she doing now about the police investigation of the AG who has had to leave office under her stewardship?” Rowley questioned.