Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2015 Contents RENUKA SINGH
Embattled chairman of the Integrity Com-
mission Zainool Hosein last night broke his
silence over claims that the commission issued
an incorrect statement announcing the ter-
mination of its investigation into the Emailgate
matter, saying he did "nothing wrong."
Questioned about the strong and unchar-
acteristic statements made by former deputy
chairman Sebastian Ventour, a former High
Court judge, after his sudden resignation on
Thursday, Hosein, a retired Appeal Court judge
and former president of the Retired Judges
Association, said, "I cannot speak on the issue
of the (former) deputy chairman, I am unable
to answer any questions because the Integrity
Commission is not constituted."
Ventour said on Thursday that the statement
issued by the commission to the Prime Min-
ister s attorney Israel Khan, SC, on Tuesday,
which stated that there was "no or insufficient
grounds" to continue the probe, was misleading
to the public because it was incorrect. He added
that up to the time just prior to his resignation,
the commission had not yet received all the
information it sought from email service
Ventour said he had walked out of a meeting
called by Hosein to discuss the matter before
it ended, however, so he was uncertain whether
the other commissioners had agreed to the
release of the statement.
On Wednesday, another member of the com-
mission, Dr Shelly Anne Lalchan, also resigned
citing personal reasons.
The Office of the President yesterday
acknowledged receipt of the two resignations.
However, the statement did not address the
concerns raised among various sectors of the
public yesterday about Ventour s claims.
In an interview with the T&T Guardian yes-
terday, Hosein admitted that the commission
was no longer functional because of Ventour s
departure. He said according to the Integrity
in Public Life Act there must be five sitting
commission members, one of whom must be
a deputy chair.
"Incidentally, there is no longer an Integrity
Commission," Hosein said.
Hosein said the word "collapse" had been
bandied about already, but the fact was that
with two of the five members gone, there was
no commission until they were replaced.
Members of the media tracked Hosein for
most of yesterday, which Hosein and his family
strongly objected to.
"I feel like I was in some lynch mob. This
is not right," Hosein said.
He said because he was approached at his
mosque by journalists yesterday, the Muslim
community had become upset by reporters
"I am going to protest this. I am going to
report this to the Media Association (of T&T),"
The prime minister s attorney Israel Khan,
SC, yesterday confirmed that Hosein worked
in his private law chambers.
He, however, denied all claims that Hosein
acted with any bias when he issued the state-
ment clearing Persad-Bissessar.
But he said he respected Ventour s right to
"My view is that he is entitled to his opinion,"
He said that while he did not know how the
Integrity Commission operated, it comprised
five members and there must have been a con-
sensus before the statement was issued.
"If there is a claim of bias, then the decision
could be taken before the courts and nullified,"
He said, however, that any speculation that
he and Hosein acted in cahoots was "ridicu-
"This is a small country and everyone knows
each other or someone that knows someone.
The man worked in this chamber but he is a
man of impeccable integrity and character,"
Khan said if there was sufficient evidence
found against the Prime Minister, then even
as her lawyer he would call for her to be "locked
"If there is no evidence found on two of the
four persons being investigated and all four of
them were supposed to be talking to each other,
then if no evidence is found on two, it stands
that the conversation did not take place," he
Ventour, Khan said, seemed to want the
Integrity Commission to do the work of the
He said it was now up to the investigators
to find out who was behind the creation of the
thread of emails that Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley read out in Parliament on May
20, 2013, which formed the substance of his
no-confidence motion against Persad-Bisses-
sar.The emails, which bore similar email address-
es as those of the Prime Minister, former attor-
ney general Anand Ramlogan, Works and Trans-
port Minister Suruj Rambachan and former
national security minister Gary Griffith, dis-
cussed a criminal conspiracy to harm a jour-
nalist, spy on the Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP), offer the DPP a judgeship to remove
him from office, among other acts.
The commission had engaged in a lengthy
legal battle with email service provider, Google
Inc, in the US and had obtained email corre-
spondence for both the PM and the former
AG. It was yet to receive information relating
to two other accounts.
A parallel investigation by the police service
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, May 23, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Integrity body can't function now
Khan upset over media hounding
The Law Association is calling on President
Anthony Carmona to immediately intervene
in the affairs of the Integrity Commission,
following the resignation of two members
this week. The association's vice president
Gerry Brooks made the call in a press release
yesterday, hours after the commission's
deputy chairman, retired Appeal Court judge
Sebastian Ventour, suddenly resigned over
the commission's public comments on the
termination of its Emailgate investigation.
The day before, another commissioner, Dr
Shelly Anne Lalchan, had also ended her
tenure at the commission.
In his release, Brooks said Ventour's
statement that he decided to quit over an
erroneous release on the investigation issued
by the commission on Tuesday had caused
his organisation "great concern."
He also called on the commission's
president, retired justice of appeal Zainool
Hosein, to make an immediate public
statement on the "serious allegations" made
Chairman of the Integrity Commission, retired justice Zainool Hosein, arrives at his Moka, Maraval, home yesterday.
PHOTO: COURTESY CNC 3 KHAMAL GEORGES
LAW BODY CONCERNED
Getting it right
In the On the Margin publication yesterday,
the T&T Guardian reported that the margin
of error for the H.H.B & Associates poll of
three marginal constituencies was 5.6 per
cent. That number actually pertains to
The margins of error for St Joseph and
San Fernando West are 5.1 per cent and 4.9
per cent, respectively. The error is regretted.
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