Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 26th 2015 Contents A5
Thursday, February 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Police investigators yesterday
questioned former national security
minister Gary Griffith as the probe
continued into Police Complaints
Authority director David West s alle-
gation that former attorney general
Anand Ramlogan attempted to per-
vert the course of justice.
While investigators have been keep-
ing the details of their probe close to
their chests, one police source yes-
terday revealed Griffith spent several
hours being grilled by investigators
assigned by Deputy Commissioner of
Police Harold Phillip.
The source said when Griffith, who
filed police statements in the ongoing
matter earlier this month, emerged
from the office just after 4 pm yes-
terday, he seemed visibly upset and
was heard commenting that Ramlogan
had asked him "just five words" and
it led to "all of this."
The T&T Guardian attempted to
contact Griffith several times yesterday
evening but his mobile phone had
been switched off.
On January 29 West delivered a
statement to acting Commissioner of
Police Stephen Williams, in which he
claimed Ramlogan had asked him to
withdraw his (West) witness statement
in the defamation lawsuit involving
People s National Movement leader
Dr Keith Rowley, in exchange for West
being selected for the PCA job.
That lawsuit involves the failed
extradition of Section 34 applicants
Steve Ferguson and Ish Galbarans-
The police probe was announced
later that same day.
Ramlogan, who has denied the
claims, was removed from office by
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar, who noted that the probe was one
of the reasons for his removal. She
also removed Griffith as well after he
became embroiled in the debacle
between Ramlogan and West.
Griffith has confirmed that he was
approached by Ramlogan to use his
friendship with West to confirm "if
West recalled the documents" in the
Section 34 lawsuit.
He has maintained, however, that
he was not aware of exactly what the
"documents" in question were but
was just delivering a message on Ram-
logan s behalf when he approached
West in the matter.
He has also claimed that some of
his former Cabinet colleagues
attempted to get him to change his
mind when he supported West s
WASA S director of customer
services, Doodnath Bhola, yes-
terday warned of harsh action
against anyone responsible for
contaminating the water supply
on Tuesday night at the utility s
Caroni Water Treatment Plant.
"This one looks very suspicious.
Once we find out the source, cause
and person responsible, we are
taking harsh action because you
are compromising the quality of
the water for the people of T&T."
He made the comment following
yesterday s Public Accounts Com-
mittee (PAC) meeting at the Par-
liament, Tower D, Waterfront Cen-
tre, Wrightson Road, Port-of-
Spain. The issue was raised during
the meeting by Opposition Senator
Diane Baldeo-Chadeesingh who
is a member of the PAC.
In response Bhola said the
authority was forced to shut down
the plant and clean it after the
contamination was discovered. He
insisted the water was safe for con-
sumption but said because of the
odour many chose not to use it.
He said the Environmental Man-
agement Authority was assisting
in the investigations.
Bhola said the authority was
concerned about the contamina-
tion. He said it had affected an
estimated "75 million gallons of
water a day out of 242 million gal-
lons, which he added, was "a large
He insisted: "We are not joking
with that. We are very serious with
Addressing a fire which
destroyed a transformer at the said
plant earlier this month, Bhola said
sabotage was ruled out and the
incident may have taken place
because of the age of the equip-
ment which was operational since
"We ruled out foul play because
of tight security," he added.
Bhola said a new transformer
was being installed on Sunday
from 6 am to midnight and by
Monday evening the 24/7 water
supply should be restored to con-
The Environmental Manage-
ment Authority (EMA) last night
certified that water emanating
from the Caroni Water Treatment
Plant was safe to drink.
The EMA made the statement
in a press release after its investi-
gators conducted tests on the water
supply from the plant around 6.30
"The EMA in collaboration with
WASA conducted tests at the well
that the water is being pulled from
for public use and the reading as
at 6.30pm on February 25, 2015,
was at 0 milligrams per litre (mg/L)
for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons,"
the release said. It also said further
tests will be conducted over the
next few days to ensure the water
supply is not recontaminated.
"Our Emergency Response and
Investigations (ERI) team is scouring
areas upriver of the Plant to ascer-
tain the possible source/s of the
substance while simultaneously
conducting tests on the water leav-
ing the Plant to ascertain the pres-
ence of hydrocarbon," the release
said. The authority said it first learnt
of the contamination at the Caroni
River, which supplies the plant,
around 10 pm on Tuesday. Since
then it has received reports of fur-
ther contaminations in Carapo and
Manuel Congo, San Raphael, which
were being investigated up to late
Earlier, EMA chairman Dr Allan
Bachan said three teams were dis-
patched after remnants of hydro-
carbons were seen upstream along
the Caroni River.
"The teams have been out very
early looking to see what is the
source of this leak. We are liaising
with WASA to ascertain the extent
of the impact," Bachan said.
Saying the issue of dumping was
of utmost importance, Bachan
renewed his call for more resources
for the EMA.
"This kind of problem shows the
potential impact people s actions
can have on the national commu-
nity," Bachan said.
Calling for the issue of dumping
to be dealt with seriously, Bachan
noted: "At the end of the day, pol-
lution has long-term consequences
for the society."
He also said EMA teams also
have been monitoring the hydro-
carbon levels at the plant. He said
initial investigations could not
determine who was responsible for
the pollution or what it was.
"We have picked up remnants
of hydrocarbons further upstream
so we believe that it is an upstream
spill and we are doing investigations
to determine who is the potential
culprit," he said.
Guardian Media Limited has
appointed Orin Gordon to the posi-
tion of Editor-In-Chief of the T&T
The appointment was announced
by Guardian Media Limited (GML)
managing director Lisa Agard yes-
Gordon, a former BBC journalist,
has had more than 25 years in jour-
nalism across all media platforms,
starting with the Guyana Broad-
casting Corporation, where he
became editor-in-chief in 1992 while
in his mid-20s.
After securing an MA in journal-
ism from Cardiff University, he
joined the BBC World Service s
Caribbean Report. In the team s
trademark tough interviewing style,
he has gone one-on-one with three
T&T prime ministers, more than a
dozen others throughout the
Caribbean, as well as other key
politicians and decision makers.
Gordon led the Caribbean team
before moving on to global news as
a presenter for The World Today.
He has presented a range of global
shows, including World Briefing,
Outlook, Business Matters and Dig-
ital Planet (the technology show
now called Click). He has also been
on air for big events, such as the
2004 tsunami and covered a war
zone, Haiti, for BBC global news.
The new EIC has written as a
freelancer for several newspapers,
including Stabroek News, Barbados
Nation and the Trinidad Express,
and wrote a regular column on
cricket, "The Anglo Caribbean
View," for Wisden Online and The
After taking an MBA at Oxford,
he started a business as a media
trainer, while remaining a freelance
reporter/analyst with BBC radio, TV
Speaking about his appointment
yesterday, Gordon said: "I m a techie,
and though I ve eased up a bit now,
gadgets have been my only vice."
Commenting about the appoint-
ment, Agard said: "I am delighted
to have Orin join the Guardian Media
team as we continue to transform
the media landscape to embrace the
new digital reality and to build upon
the Guardian newspaper as the
guardian of democracy in Trinidad
Probe into former AG Ramlogan...
Ex-BBC journalist new Guardian EIC
Perpetrators facing harsh
action, says WASA boss
EMA probes source
of water pollution
A file photo of the Caroni Water Treatment Plant. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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