Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2015 Contents A5
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
As the controversy surrounding the defama-
tion E-mailgate lawsuit continues to rage, legal
sources have confirmed that Justice Judith
Jones was never assigned to the case.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, in a state-
ment last week Thursday, said Jones had been
assigned to the matter after Justice Frank Seep-
ersad recused himself.
"Given the seriousness of this matter, I hereby
ask Dr Rowley and (Faris) Al-Rawi whether
they will agree to a joint application asking a
newly-assigned judge, Madam Justice Judith
Jones, to deem this matter fit for urgent and
early trial in the month of April 2015," Ramlogan
However, reliable judicial sources said when
Ramlogan made that statement no judge had
been assigned to the case.
Subsequent to Ramlogan s statement, Justice
Robin Mohammed was assigned to deal with
the lawsuit but he had to recuse himself since
Rowley s daughter, Tonya, is his judicial research
assistant. T&T Guardian was reliably informed
that the matter has now been assigned to Justice
Expressing concern about the amount of
misinformation being spread in the public
domain, the source said: "The question is who
gave the Attorney General that information.
When he made that statement about Justice
Jones being appointed the system reflects that
no assignment was made."
Seepersad extricated himself from the matter
after his assistant, judicial support officer Reshma
Pariag, failed to inform attorneys for Opposition
leader Dr Keith Rowley that he had set January
7 as the deadline for them to file a defence in
the matter. The information was only passed
to Ramlogan and his attorneys.
As a consequence, on January 14 the assistant
registrar entered judgment in default against
Rowley, which was hailed as a legal victory by
Ramlogan who demanded an apology from
Rowley. However, Al-Rawi said Rowley s legal
team was never informed by the Judiciary of
the deadline date for filing of the defence.
The Judiciary conducted preliminary inves-
tigations and on Monday issued a statement
stating there was no evidence of a conspiracy
to pervert the course of justice but an officer
did fail in her duties to inform Rowley s attorneys
of the deadline date.
Responding to the Judiciary findings, Ram-
logan said he had no problem with the judgment
being set aside and the matter going to trial.
Rowley s attorney Faris Al-Rawi welcomed
the Judiciary findings but said the PNM was
greatly concerned about how and why Ramlogan
himself was e-mailed by the JSO.
Sheldon Henville, the man who is
a person of interest in the murder of
his wife, talk show host Marcia
Henville, is still warded at the Eric
Williams Medical Complex, Mt Hope,
under 24 hours police guard.
Sources at the institution said yes-
terday that Henville, 39, is refusing to
eat food and has been abusing staff.
Henville, who suffered non-life threat-
ening burns in a fire which damaged
the couple s home at Fidelis Heights,
St Augustine, over the weekend, is also
abusive to hospital staff when they try
to dress his wounds, sources said.
An autopsy done on Monday showed
that before being set ablaze, 51-year-
old Henville, as she lay face down on
her bed, was stabbed repeatedly about
the face and neck, violently struck in
the back of the head and her throat
Police and the Fire Services were
called to the scene, alerted by a fire at
the home, and discovered Henville s
body in her bedroom.
At the house, there were no major
visible signs of fire damage, as the fire
appeared to have affected only Henville s
bedroom on the upper floor. (JL)
Police Complaints Authority (PCA) chair-
man David West has "blanked" COP leader
Prakash Ramadhar s bid to intervene in the
issue concerning West and Attorney General
Anand Ramlogan and Ramadhar s attempt
to speak to West on the matter.
The AG is at the centre of witness-tampering
allegations that six days before West was
appointed PCA director, Ramlogan asked him
to withdraw his witness statement in the
defamation lawsuit involving PNM s Keith
Rowley, relating to the failed extradition con-
cerning Section 34 applicants Steve Ferguson
and Galbaransingh, in exchange for West being
selected for the PCA job.
The Congress of the People s executive met
Monday on the matter and Ramadhar issued
a statement saying:
"Notwithstanding much of the noise sur-
rounding the issue in the public domain, the
COP renews its call for clarity and truth in
prompt fashion so as to erase suspicions of
guilt where they do not belong and to expose
guilt where it exists.
"The fact is some extremely strong allega-
tions were made by a newspaper regarding
two senior public office holders and what must
be done now in the interest of fairness and
justice is to identify where the truth rests.
"If there s no truth to the article then action
must be taken against the media house and
the journalist where libel, slander, defamation
and criminal conduct is concerned."
He said: "The COP remains committed to
truth and justice but also to fairness and ethics
in all our public exchanges where reputations
and characters are concerned.
"With that in mind, I have already spoken
to the Attorney General on the issue and have
extended an invitation to the Director of the
PCA for discussions aimed at clearing the air
on this matter and bring it to a conclusion
once and for all."
COP officials said it was felt that while the
PCA was independent, Ramadhar s Legal
Affairs Ministry had oversight.
But hours after, West declined the invitation
to meet with Ramadhar. He responded in writ-
ing to Ramadhar explaining in detail his reasons
for declining the invitation.
West stated that the "allegation of miscon-
duct" was being levied against the Attorney
General and did not relate to the PCA or the
director of the PCA in his performance of the
functions of that office, as the matter which
is being ventilated in the public domain was
not relevant to the office of the director of the
PCA but to West in his personal capacity.
West reminded Ramadhar of the independ-
ence of the PCA. He referenced Section 19 of
the Police Complaints Authority Act, which
"The authority is not subject to the direction
or control of any other person in the perform-
ance of its functions under Section 21 and the
exercise of its powers under Section 22."
West reiterated that the PCA did not have
a line ministry and was not a department,
division nor statutory authority of the Ministry
of Legal Affairs.
West added that the PCA was an independ-
ent, corporate body accountable to the Par-
liament of T&T and that the minister s respon-
sibility must be understood as limited to
speaking on behalf of the authority in accor-
dance with parliamentary custom or practice
and no more.
West assured Ramadhar that the PCA
remained committed to delivering its mandate
to the public.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Row-
ley has called on House Speaker
Wade Mark to immediately recuse
himself from attending two forth-
coming parliamentary delegation
assignments in Cuba and Australia.
In a release yesterday, Rowley said
in light of the current scandal and
odium into which Mark has brought
the House he must immediately
recuse himself from those assign-
"Failure to do so now is to further
humiliate the Parliament and by
extension the country," Rowley said.
At last Friday s sitting of the House
Mark was quoted as saying: "I
received only a few hours ago a notice
from the High Court of the Republic
of Trinidad and Tobago, dated Jan-
uary 16, 2015, a matter involving
Larry Howai and Azard Ali of the
Sunshine Publishing Company."
But in a subsequent press release,
Mark admitted he made a mistake
in the statements he made in Par-
liament on Independent Liberal Party
MP Jack Warner s motion of censure
against Finance Minister Larry
Warner s no-confidence motion
against Howai collapsed after Warner
was cautioned by Mark about head-
ing in the wrong direction and the
full requirements for the motion were
not completed after Warner walked
out of the Parliament that day.
But in a subsequent interview
Rowley said the best apology Mark
could do was to resign.
E-mailgate defamation lawsuit
AG's statement wrong
Judicial sources: No judge was assigned to case...
West blanks Ramadhar's call for talks Rowley: Mark
shouldn't go to
THERE WAS A MIX UP
When asked where he got the information that Justice Jones was
assigned to the matter, Ramlogan, in a telephone interview, said there
may have been a mix-up.
"I think there might have been a mix-up because Justice Jones is in
fact assigned to deal with one of the cases." However, he said, it did not
matter which judge was assigned to the case.
"I don't really care which judge tries this case as I have confidence in
the Judiciary and its ability to be independent and fair," he added.
T&T Guardian was unable to reach Al-Rawi on his cellphone yesterday
for a comment.
Ramlogan said he spoke with
Ramadhar on Monday and repeated
statements refuting and denying the
allegations which he deemed "spurious."
Asked if he would sue the newspaper in
which the allegations were made,
Ramlogan said he had refrained from
suing the media in his term in recognition
of freedom of the press and to "avoid
being blacklisted and intensification of the
obvious bias on the part of some in the
"I'll take it one day at a time. My
primary concern is for the defamation
case to be tried ASAP," he said, adding his
relationship with West was cordial and
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