Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2014 Contents DEREK ACHONG
Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan has filed yet another defama-
tion lawsuit against Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley, this time
for his role in the controversial E-
It comes almost three weeks after
Ramlogan produced correspondence
from Google Inc which he said
invalidated a thread of incriminating
e-mails purportedly sent between
him, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar and other senior govern-
According to the documents, filed
in the Port-of-Spain High Court
yesterday afternoon, Ramlogan is
alleging that Rowley committed
slander when he spoke extensively
on the alleged conspiracy at a public
meeting in San Juan, days after he
revealed the e-mails in Parliament
on May 20 last year.
While Ramlogan s lawyers admit-
ted that Rowley could not be sued
for his statement in the House of
Representatives as it fell under par-
liamentary privilege, they said he
had no protection for his subsequent
"The words complained of and
the entirety of the Croisee speech
made by the defendant have exposed
the claimant to public scandal,
ridicule and contempt and has
caused his name, and office to be
brought into odium and disrepute
and further caused him humiliation,
embarrassment and distress," the
In addition to general and aggra-
vated damages from Rowley for
damage to his reputation, Ramlogan
is also seeking more than $1.2 mil-
lion in legal fees in defending the
"reckless" allegation, including
US$75,000 spent to sue Google to
clarify the issue.
The fee is still pending, with
Ramlogan s legal team in the United
States still involved in a lawsuit filed
by the Integrity Commission which
is seeking similar information in its
probe of the issue.
Ramlogan s lawyers criticised
Rowley s handling of the situation
as they questioned his admission
of a six-month delay between
receiving, sending them to the Pres-
ident and eventually revealing them
"He could have, but did not, per-
sonally reported the matter directly
to the Integrity Commission and/or
the Commissioner of Police so that
the matter could have been properly
investigated," the court documents
They also accused Rowley of
using the e-mails to exploit a polit-
ical opportunity and of being "driven
by purely selfish political ambition.
"The defendant was reckless in
making these false statements as he
had ample time to verify the
authenticity of the document con-
taining the alleged e-mails which
he claims was anonymously
deposited in his mail box," Ramlo-
gan s lawyers said.
In his documents to support his
claim of the bogus nature of the e-
mail thread, Ramlogan refered to an
affidavit from Google s custodian
of records Chi Nguyen sent to him
on the completion of his lawsuit in
a California court on August 22.
Ramlogan was careful to note that
his request was not limited to the
header information on the e-mail,
which were already ruled question-
able by two local information tech-
nology experts hired by him.
"Google also searched the con-
tents of the claimant s e-mail
account to determine whether the
alleged e-mails were sent or received
by him or the Honourable Prime
"Every single e-mail that was sent
by the claimant to the Honourable
Prime Minister and vice-versa for
the relevant period was in fact pro-
duced by Google to eliminate any
doubt," the lawsuit stated.
Ramlogan is being represented by
Senior Counsel Pamela Elder and
attorneys Kelvin Ramkissoon, Gerald
Ramdeen and Richard Jagai.
Friday, September 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A new scanner installed at
the Port of Port-of-Spain will
improve efficiency and
increase trade levels, Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar said yesterday.
Unlike the previous system
which examined two contain-
ers an hour, the new scanner
examines 15 containers an
"This scanner will provide
for port efficiency, border
security and the personal
security of the men and
women who work hard on the
"The system can detect ille-
gal contraband and prohibited
goods in containers rapidly.
"It is mobile and can be
relocated for quick deployment
and is very effective. This will
be functional as we go into
the Christmas season," the
Prime Minister said at the
commissioning ceremony for
the Linear Accelerator X-Ray
Scanning and Detection Sys-
tem at Dock Road, Port-of-
Persad-Bissessar said more
scanners would be coming in
She added: "We have also
had four container scanners
being donated by the United
"Those are second-hand
and they are being refurbished
and we should have those
coming in and will roll them
out in Tobago and other ports."
The People s Republic of
China provided the scanner
under a $25 million grant
Although it had been made
available since 2003, Persad-
Bissessar said serious work to
access the grant began only
last year when Chinese Pres-
ident Xi Jinping visited T&T.
"The grant funding is not
a loan and only recently we
discovered it was sitting in our
coffers. We do not need to
repay the grant funding. I said
this was free money in a
sense," she said.
The Prime Minister said the
container scanner would lead
to the reduction of clearance
time and "will increase port
traffic and competitiveness,
better and faster detection of
irregularities, increase revenue
generation capacity and more
modern and efficient use of
She said her administration
was taking a multipartite
approach to include not only
government, business and
labour in the running of the
port but also other sectors of
"In the past we spoke of
the tripartite approach, now
we are looking at the multi-
partite approach," Persad-
AG sues Rowley over E-mailgate
Contacted yesterday, Ramlogan said he decided to file the lawsuit to protect
the integrity of the Government.
He said since assuming office in 2010 he was repeatedly hit with baseless
attacks from Rowley.
Ramlogan said the lawsuit was one of several he had filed against Rowley,
including for accusations made against him in the Section 34 fiasco, pertaining
to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and for allegations that he awarded
State briefs to his former law chambers.
While he admitted that all the cases are still pending in court, Ramlogan
said: "It is interesting that he has been in default of several court directions
and orders whereby he has failed to produce any evidence to substantiate his
Stating the PNM was in a "credibility crisis", Ramlogan warned citizens to be
cautious with that party's criticism of the Government.
"He is prepared to sacrifice the truth on the alter of political expediency
when it suits him," Ramlogan said.
HISTORY OF E-MAILGATE
'INITIATIVES TO MODERNISE THE PORT'
During a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
on May 20, last year, Rowley produced the list of 31 e-mails allegedly sent
between Prime Minister, Attorney General, Local Government Minister and the
National Security Minister as he accused them of "high crime" and
"misbehaviour of public office".
The conspiracy involved harming a T&T Guardian journalist who had broken
the Section 34 story, spying on the DPP's office, leaning on Chief Justice Ivor
Archie to appoint DPP Roger Gaspard as a judge and a plot to cover up the
Rowley read out the e-mails in Parliament after waiting on then president
George Maxwell Richards to act on the same information for some six months,
having forwarded it to him in 2012.
The parties implicated in the plot all denied any wrongdoing with the PM,
asking acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to launch an investigation
into the incident, the result of which is still pending.
In an effort to clear his name Ramlogan filed the lawsuit against Google
earlier this year, with the internet giant acceding to the request last month.
The Integrity Commission's investigation is ongoing with their lawsuit still
pending before the US court. Ramlogan has intervened in the lawsuit using his
Google response which he said negated the need for further investigation.
PoS port gets scanner to beef up efficiency
Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz said the challenges on the
port did not begin during the tenure of the People's Partnership
but had been around for decades.
"We have had many issues, including the infrastructural
organisation and human resources but these issues have been
around for decades.
"It has taken this Government to start the renaissance of the
Port of Port-of-Spain," he said.
Cadiz said several short and medium-term initiatives were
planned to modernise the port.
"Any commercial port which cannot compete in the world, the
work will go elsewhere and when that happens there is a
"The only way to solve that is to bring the port up to
efficiency, like the replacement of outdated equipment," he
Technical supervisor Bin Wang of the Chinese firm Nuctech demonstrates the use of the
newly-installed Linear Accelerator X Ray Scanning and Detection System following yesterday's
commissioning ceremony at the Port of Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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