PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thursday April 30, 2015, CMC – Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley, describing Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar as “desperate” has brushed aside the government’s latest move to have him suspended from Parliament over the so-called emailgate scandal.
“Well the Prime Minister is desperate. She is looking for a plan B or plan C, she has the whole alphabet so I wish her well,” Rowley said, after Prime Minister Persad Bissessar announced that her coalition administration would be moving a motion to censure the Opposition Leader on the issue.
“The Parliament is being used to conduct the UNC campaign within the walls of Parliament. We respond by conducting our campaign outside,” Rowley said.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar addressing the 26th anniversary of the ruling United National Congress (UNC) in Couva, Central Trinidad, on Sunday night, said that the so-called emails that Rowley read out in Parliament suggesting that she and senior members of her government were involved in a plot to undermine several state institutions including the judiciary were a hoax.
“These are the facts, three sources have now shown that the e-mails have no substance, there is no truth, there is no basis for the fake e-mails Dr Rowley read in Parliament,” she told supporters, listing among the sources, the United States Justice Department.
“We will deal with him in Parliament…I’ve already advised Dr (Roodal) Moonilal, based on these documents and others which we will deal with in the Parliament, we will file a motion of censure again against Dr Rowley on emailgate, but we will not stop there…we will also call in the House for Dr Rowley to be suspended from the service of the House,” she added.
In 2013, Rowley told legislators that he had received in December the previous year, a total of 31 emails, from a “whistle blower” indicating how operatives within the government had sought to undermine those institutions including the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the media.. He said he had passed them on to the Office of the President.
Rowley said the emails, dating back to September 2012, were from people concerned with the government’s defence of the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act that had the effect of allowing people, whose trial has not started after a 10-year period to walk free and a verdict of not guilty entered against their names.
Critics say that the clause was aimed at supporting businessmen Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, who have been described as financiers of the ruling United National Congress (UNC), the biggest partner in the four-member coalition government.
The two are facing fraud and laundering charges relating to the re-development of the Piarco International Airport in 2001. They are also wanted in the United States on a number of related charges.
Rowley told reporters that he was standing behind his request for a probe into the emails.
“I stand behind my duty which is to ask for an investigation if one was warranted and if anything warranted an investigation, it was that.”
Rowley also dismissed as “a nonsense statement” the announcement by Prime Minister Persad Bissessar that she would name the date for the elections when it is constitutionally due.
“I don’t know that you could call an election if it’s not constitutionally due. A Prime Minister could be calling an election the day after you are elected. That’s a nonsense statement that some handler told her to say but it doesn’t make any sense,” Rowley said.
General elections are due no later than September 17 this year.