Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 6th 2015 Contents RADHICA SOOKRAJ
Fired national security minister
Gary Griffith says if all ministers
were treated equally then those
under a criminal investigation for
allegations in the Emailgate probe
should vacate office.
In a statement, Griffith said his
unjust firing was handled differently
to the Emailgate scandal in which
several ministers, including the Prime
Minister, are being investigated for a
criminal conspiracy to harm a jour-
nalist, to spy on and remove the
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
Roger Gaspard from office, after ques-
tions were raised about the passage
of legislation favouring two govern-
ment financiers---Steve Ferguson and
Ishwar Galbaransingh---who are
wanted in the US on fraud charges
relating to the $1.6 billion Piarco Air-
"If any minister is part of a police
investigation, then by right all gov-
ernment ministers in the E-mailgate
probe should also have stepped down.
More importantly, they were being
investigated and in this case, I am
not. This is a straight case of do as
I say, but not as I do, " Griffith said.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Row-
ley, in May 2012, read from a thread
of e-mails in Parliament, purporting
to be exchanged between Persad-
Bissessar, former attorney general
Anand Ramlogan, Works and Infra-
structure minister Suruj Rambachan
and Griffith, following a public outcry
over the passage of Section 34 of the
Administration of Justice (Miscella-
neous Provisions) Act.
In addition, Persad-Bissessar and
former attorney general Anand Ram-
logan had been under investigation
for a criminal offence of conspiring
to pervert the course of public justice
on a complaint filed by then PNM
councillor Dhansam Dhansook, who
claimed he was coerced into signing
a statutory declaration implicating
former PNM minister Franklin Khan
and Eric Williams in a corruption
The DPP eventually ruled that there
was no evidence to charge the PM
and AG and Dhansook was eventually
charged with perjury.
Griffith said since his removal from
office, he realised that it was impor-
tant for the public to know he was
He said: "For five full days after
the Prime Minister returned from
abroad, she never once asked to see
"It must also not be forgotten of
the false, misleading, reckless and
desperate media release approved on
behalf of the Government that I
breached Cabinet confidentiality and
accused Cabinet of pressuring me to
lie. This was the red herring excuse
that was to be used to fire me."
He also denied that he was fired
because he breached Cabinet confi-
He said Persad-Bissessar had
always urged that if anybody had
information on wrongdoing, they
should take it to the police.
"So if I was aware of any wrong
doing, my obligation was to forward
it to the police and not her, which I
have done. I am not perfect but I
know when the line must be drawn,"
Saying the next few months would
be challenging, Griffith said: "I would
expect that in the coming days and
months ahead, many attacks would
be launched against myself and my
family, both on social media and other
various channels as has become cus-
tomary with this Government, as that
is the style and operation campaign
for the upcoming election, which is
if you are not fully on board with us
and you have a different view about
anything, then you are a PNM .
"I have no regrets for the stance
I took and would do so again. Politics
must stop having a morality of its
own," he added.
Contacted yesterday, Ramlogan
said he had no comment to make on
Friday, February 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Law Association of T&T
has told attorney Gregory
Delzin that a matter which arose
14 years ago while Attorney
General Garvin Nicholas was a
student was addressed and
resolved and it is "unfortunate
and mischievous" that the mat-
ter became public yesterday.
The association issued a copy
of a letter to this effect, signed
by its president Seenath Jairam
and sent to Delzin yesterday.
This, after Delzin wrote the
association on the matter involv-
ing Nicholas on Wednesday,
shortly after Nicholas was
appointed Attorney General. The
association s council met
But private documents con-
cerning Nicholas s pupilage peri-
od were leaked to the media,
appearing in an Express report
yesterday. It was reported that
the issue of 14 years ago con-
cerning Nicholas was being
referred to the association.
The association was being
urged to investigate allegations
that Nicholas, while in pupilage
at Trinity Chambers in 2001, was
cautioned by then chamber head
Desmond Allum, SC, about
breaching the Legal Profession
This occurred after Nicholas
allegedly printed call cards rep-
resenting himself as an attorney
admitted to practise in T&T.
Allum is now deceased. A
copy of a letter by the deceased
Allum was sent to association on
Wednesday. Allum had reportedly
spoken to Nicholas on the issue
in 2001 in the presence of Delzin.
Lawyers attached to Trinity
Chambers now, according to the
chamber s telephone recording
listing, include Delzin and former
Solicitor General Eleanor Don-
She resigned in 2014 while for-
mer attorney general Anand
Ramlogan was in office and her
complaint to Ramlogan ignited
the prisongate controversy, now
Prisongate refers to an inves-
tigation where civil claims were
being filed against the State by
prisoners who claimed they were
beaten in custody and awarded
compensation by the Judiciary.
Police are probing allegations
that the information in the civil
lawsuits were being copied and
pasted by attorneys involved in
Nicholas has said he had left
Trinity chambers due to false
allegations that he sought a per-
centage of fees paid to attorneys
in the chamber for work done.
He said he had also resigned
not because of the call card issue
but because he felt some per-
sonalities were being "petty" and
he didn t want to be there.
He said he had been a barrister
of England and Wales and a
member of the Inner Temple.
However, as he had not yet
been called to the local Bar, it
was felt he should not state that
on his card. He said when the
situation was pointed out, he
complied and later left on very
amicable terms with Allum.
Delzin didn t answer calls on
the association s letter.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
refused to appoint Congress of the People (COP)
chair Nicole Dyer-Griffith a Minister because
she lost the Diego Martin Central seat, yet she
appointed Garvin Nicholas as Attorney General
though he lost the Diego Martin East seat, says
former minister Gary Griffith.
Yesterday he condemned the PM s "double stan-
Asked if he would be mounting an Opposition
People s National Movement (PNM) platform to
ventilate his recent views against the PP, aired
since his removal from office,Griffith said his pri-
ority was to clarify the issues
He said he felt T&T
needed something new and
fresh politically. Asked if the
COP was that vehicle and if
he would propel an "alter-
native," he said, COP had to
ensure it got equity in the
PP.On whether he felt, like
his wife Nicole does, that
COP should sever ties with
the PP, Griffith said COP had to demand it gets
its "pound of flesh" in government and if it did
not, then act.
He said the United National Congress (UNC)
wanted the COP to be in government "but not
He was mum on whether he had submitted
further statements to police yesterday, as he said
he would, on an alleged meeting with advertising
executive Ernie Ross in St Clair on January 29,
regarding his role as a witness for David West in
his criminal complaint against former attorney
general Anand Ramlogan.
West filed a report to the police on January 29
accusing Ramlogan of offering him the post of
PCA director if he withdrew his witness statement
in a defamation lawsuit filed by Ramlogan against
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Ross didn t answer calls on Griffith s move to
have police probe issues raised at that meeting.
Griffith claimed his wife and Communication
Minister Vasant Bharath were present at that meet-
ing at Ross office last month.
He also alleged efforts by government officials
to pressure him to withdraw statements supporting
Ross said Bharath was not at the meeting but
a meeting was held with Griffith and his wife in
their interest and there was no attempt to change
the veracity of their statements. (Gail Alexander)
Griffith hits PM's
Law Association on complaint against AG:
Emailgate ministers should also quit---Gary
Yesterday Government confirmed due diligence was
followed with regard to Nicholas' appointment. The
Communication Ministry, via a statement, added:
"As explained by the Attorney General (in the story) he was
called to the Bar in the United Kingdom in 2001 as a barrister
of law and member of the Inner Temple.
"Later that year, he returned to T&T to start his six month
in-service training at Trinity Chambers under the tutelage of
the head of chambers, the late Desmond Allum, SC, as part of
the Legal Education Certificate (LEC) requirement to get
called to the Bar locally.
"Regarding allegations that Mr Nicholas was requesting a
percentage of fees from work he had referred to attorneys
while at the chambers, these claims were denied and Mr
Nicholas continued his pupilage at Trinity Chambers until his
decision to resign and complete his training with Mr Robin
"It is worth noting that this matter occurred more than 14
years ago and was resolved. Senator Nicholas was called to
the Bar in 2002 in T&T, and has a distinguished career in the
fields of law, politics and diplomacy.
"Government has every confidence that Senator Nicholas
will execute the functions of the Office of the Attorney
General responsibly and in keeping with the highest principles
of integrity, transparency and accountability,"
No censure for West
The Law Association's Council meeting on Wednesday did
not have any motion calling for Police Complaints Authority
director David West to resign and no motion was "out-voted,"
legal sources said.
West has been called upon to resign by Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar for failing to notify the President or
herself that he was allegedly approached by former attorney
general Anand Ramlogan to withdraw his witness statement in
a defamation lawsuit in support of Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Members said there was an almost full council turnout but
no motion to call on West to resign.
They said discussions on West began at the association's
meeting last Saturday following which the council issued a
statement, saying then attorney general Anand Ramlogan
should resign to the face of a police probe.
They said the West issue was again examined at
Wednesday's council meeting but no decisions were taken,
sources said. Association officials yesterday said it stood by its
statement of last Saturday.
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