Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 21st 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 21, 2013
Attorneys Reginald Armour,
SC, and Gillian Lucky have said
the meeting between Integrity
Commission chairman Ken Gor-
don and Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley was inappropriate.
However, Armour does not
believe Gordon needs to resign or
should be removed from his posi-
tion, but should simply recuse
himself when the issue of the e-
mails comes before the commis-
In a statement sent to the T&T
Guardian yesterday, Armour com-
mented: "The fact of the meeting
having occurred is evidence of an
error of judgment on the part of
both the chairman and the leader."
Rowley and Gordon met on May
15 at Rowley s request. Because
Rowley said the matter was urgent,
Gordon invited Rowley to meet at
his home in Glencoe.
Rowley wanted to know whether
the commission was investigating
the 31 e-mails he had passed to it
and which were purportedly
exchanged among government
officials last September during the
Section 34 controversy.
What happened at Gordon and
Rowley s meeting was irrelevant,
"What is important and to the
point," he said, "is the need to pre-
serve confidence in the even-
handedness of the decision-mak-
ing process, in this case of the
Integrity Commission. The process
through and by which the e-mail
complaint will be considered by
the commission must remain
untainted by the appearance of the
possibility of bias in the decision-
He pointed out that judges
sometimes made mistakes which
had to be corrected by higher
courts, but when those errors were
identified and corrected, the judge
whose decision was corrected was
not required to resign.
Instead, he said, public disquiet
was arrested by an "appropriate
and measured response" and the
work of the relevant body was per-
mitted to continue.
Thus in this case, he said,
"There is, therefore, no rational or
logical or legal reason why, in
respect of this error of judgment,
the chairman of the Integrity
Commission should be required
to resign, nor to have his commis-
"The fact of the meeting having
occurred and the legitimate con-
cerns expressed over that fact can
be addressed, simply and without
over-reaction, and we can move
What Gordon should do, said
Armour, is to "indicate publicly
and otherwise, in precise and
unequivocal terms," that when a
full commission is constituted and
the e-mails come before it, he will
recuse himself and let the deputy
choice of location
Writing in her T&T Guardian
column today, Lucky, a former
UNC MP, comments, "While dis-
cussions behind closed doors usu-
ally suggest some kind of clan-
destine activity, it is unfortunate
when much more is made of an
unfortunate choice of location to
hold an otherwise legitimate meet-
"There has been such an erosion
of public trust in individuals who
hold public office that there is
always a premature finding of gross
misconduct even in the face of full
She said is sure both Gordon
and Rowley now realise the meet-
ing was a mistake.
Lucky does not believe the
meeting amounted to a crime on
Rowley s part, and as for Gordon,
she concluded that he should "be
given the opportunity to state the
manner in which he intends to
move forward on the matter."
However, she also warned that
the incident was being used to dis-
tract attention from the real issue,
the authenticity of the e-mails.
Lawyers comment on Rowley/Gordon meeting...
Armour: An error
The UNC is insisting that Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley compromised the
office of the chairman of the Integrity Com-
mission when he met at Gordon s residence
on May 15.
In a release yesterday, the UNC said Row-
ley brought both Gordon s and his office
The UNC said it was in agreement with
its leader and Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar that "Rowley should face
charges of misconduct and misbehaviour in
The party said it agreed with Rowley that
he was free to make inquires of the com-
The UNC said it objected to "the clan-
destine and secretive manner in which he
made the inquiry. They did not follow the
proper and ethical procedure and must
accept responsibility for the breach of con-
The UNC also objected to Rowley s calling
of US IT expert Jon Berryhill as "charlatan."
Berryhill was hired by Prime Minister Per-
sad-Bissessar s attorney Israel Khan, SC, to
examine e-mails presented by Rowley, polit-
ical leader of the People s National Movement
(PNM), during the no-confidence motion
debate in Parliament on May 20.
Berryhill said the e-mails were fraudu-
PNM leader should face charges---UNC
New draft plan
for waste disposal
Polluters will pay.
That s one of the principles behind a
new draft plan to deal with solid waste in
T&T, according to Local Government Min-
ister Suruj Rambachan yesterday.
At yesterday s weekly Government media
conference, Rambachan said Cabinet
approved the plan. He said T&T s four
waste landfills are exceeding capacity. For-
res Park, for instance, the biggest, accepted
700,000 tonnes of waste in 2010.
"All sites are operating under stress,"
he said, noting landfills are also coping
with organic waste, batteries and plastics.
Principles guiding the draft plan include
that generators of waste would bear the
cost of waste treatment and disposal. Also
it is proposed those who generate more
waste would pay more. Companies for
instances would be given incentives to
reuse and recycle waste generated by their
Rambachan said the Government also
received proposals from investors for long-
and short-term plans. This is now being
considered by Cabinet. He said the
Beetham landfill is high on the agenda.
Science, Technology and Tertiary Edu-
cation Minister Fazal Karim also announced
a new electronic system for the Govern-
ment Assisted Tertiary Education (Gate)
programme which would process and
expedite applications and assist the Gate
administration to track applications bet-
ter. Processing time would be reduced to
The measure would cost US$1.76 million
and would be done with help from ICDI
in Singapore in an arrangement for e-ser-
vices which the past administration ini-
tiated in 2008.
The system, which would take 23 weeks
to establish, begins in January 2014.
• See Reginald Armour's full
statement on Page A25.
• Gillian Lucky's column
appears on Page A24.
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