Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, January 31, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
National Security Minister Gary Griffith
confided in a Cabinet colleague on Thurs-
day he was approached by Attorney Gen-
eral Anand Ramlogan to use his friendship
with Police Complaints Authority head
David West in order to confirm "if West
recalled the documents" in the Section
34 defamation lawsuit against Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
However, Griffith appears ready to pro-
vide statements in the ongoing police probe
in the allegations against the AG to clear
his name in the matter.
The colleague yesterday said Griffith had
informed them he was not aware of exactly
what the "documents" in questions were
but was just delivering a message on Ram-
logan's behalf when he approached West
in the matter.
It was only later on that Griffith in fact
realised it was the Section 34 lawsuit.
"It was only when he (Griffith) contacted
West that he was told to leave that situation
alone because the matter was before the
court that he realised what was going on,"
Griffith;s colleague told the T&T Guardian
Ramlogan had initially denied media
reports he had contacted West before his
appointment to the PCA, asking him to
withdraw his witness statement in a
defamation lawsuit relating to the failed
extradition involving Section 34 applicants
Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh
in exchange for him being selected for the
But West on Thursday refuted Ramlo-
gan's denial, saying his recollection of the
events were "diametrically opposed" to the
West was also reported to have delivered
a statement to the Director of Public Pros-
ecutions (DPP) but the T&T Guardian has
learnt that while a detailed, signed report
was delivered to the acting Commissioner
of Police Stephen Williams, nothing has
been delivered to the DPP yet.
The T&T Guardian was informed that
the timeline of the alleged discussions
between Ramlogan, Griffith and West was
the crux of the growing discord between
the three, as Griffith has informed his col-
leagues that he was only passing a message
on to West.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the
Government accepts the statement issued by House
Speaker Wade Mark yesterday on the sub judice
matter during last week Friday s debate on a motion
of no confidence in Finance and the Economy Min-
ister Larry Howai.
The debate collapsed after the mover of the private
motion, former national security minister Jack Warner,
was advised that he could not speak on certain
matters as they were before the court.
Mark yesterday apologised for giving the impression
that the letter on which he based his advice was
from the Judiciary, noting it had in fact been from
Howai. (See Page A6)
Speaking afterwards, Persad-Bissessar said both
Howai and Mark had a duty to bring the issue of
sub judice to the House "so that there would have
been no infringement of the sub judice rule."
Persad-Bissessar also said the Speaker did not
stop the debate.
"It was the Chaguanas West MP who stopped
"The Speaker did the appropriate thing by explain-
ing the circumstances (yesterday). At the end of the
day, the same result would have ensued because the
sub judice rule would have been triggered once these
matters were filed," she added.
"I m trained not to be scared."
That was the boast from National Security Minister
Gary Griffith yesterday as he fielded questions from
reporters on the police probe into the matter concerning
Attorney General and Police Complaints Authority
director David West, in which Griffith himself is alleged
to be part of the picture.
Asked whether he had corroborated West's statement
to police on the issue, Griffith said he could no speak
about something being investigated by police. He said
he had not had any meeting with Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar and added that he was still minister.
"The very fact I'm here shows that I am," he added.
During debate, when teased by the People's National
Movement (PNM) while answering an Opposition ques-
tion, Griffith admonished them: "I am the Minister of
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Opposition Leader
Dr Keith Rowley called on Persad-Bissessar to "call
election now" as the Government had collapsed. He
also noted the issue concerning House Speaker Wade
Mark, saying the Parliament was also embroiled in a
situation and the Cabinet had imploded. (See Page
A6)Rowley said the only recourse from all of this was
for a general election to be called to deal with all the
matters "in one dose or we will end up with an attempt
to patch and fix and mend and it will only get worse."
He said the PM was dealing with the issue concerning
the AG in the same way she had dealt with issues
regarding Jack Warner, Anil Roberts and others.
"... Pretending not to know what to do, that's the
Prime Minister's style. Is only when the landslide is
about to bury them, they try to step aside. But this
landslide will bury them without any effort on their
part," he added.
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi also detailed the defamation
case against Ramlogan. He said the PNM would have
to examine the implications of the West issue on that.
Attending yesterday's Parliament session and watching
Griffith speak were former United National Congress
leader Basdeo Panday's daughters, including Mikela
and an older sister. They left early in the session.
to be scared
PM okay with
Griffith duped into approaching West but...
ready to testify
When contacted yesterday, Griffith
said he was not speaking on the
"I have to be careful because the
matter is before the court but I can
say that I am in no way implicated,"
The T&T Guardian also learned
that Griffith was refusing to back
down or be cowed by his Cabinet
When asked how that was
affecting the climate inside Cabinet,
the insider said: "Griffith not too
worried about that.
"He does not intend to retract or
back down or not make that witness
statement because his Cabinet
colleagues are trying to get him to
Griffith, the T&T Guardian learned,
was "willing and ready to testify."
Meanwhile, West himself
yesterday said he hoped the matter
would be investigated swiftly and
said he stood ready to play his part
in the investigation.
West, who was in Tobago for a
meeting in Plymouth, also dispelled
the AG's claim that there was a
political conspiracy against him
saying: "I don't agree with his words.
I gave a statement to the
commissioner of Police and that
statement will be investigated by
the Deputy Commissioner of Police."
National Security Minister Gary Griffith answers questions on the order paper during yesterday's sitting of Parliament.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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