Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, June 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Deputy police commissioner
Mervyn Richardson yesterday said
he expects his team to make major
headway in their ongoing e-mail
probe next week.
He also again called on people who
are offering advice and running par-
allel investigations in the e-mail probe
to desist from so doing.
"We will be progressing those mat-
ters in the new week and we can
expect the whole investigation to go
forward in quantum leaps in the week
to come," Richardson said at a grad-
uation ceremony for 18 crime scene
investigators at the National Security
Training Academy in Wallerfield.
He admitted, however, that the
investigation was being contaminated
by what he deemed interference by
several persons outside the probe.
"I have not changed my views on
that. I was speaking to all persons
who are tendering advice on the e-
mails that we are investigating and
not necessarily one individual.
"There are many who are tender-
ing advice and quantification of views
to the public. They can keep it to
themselves. If you have information
pass it to the police. We have a good
investigating team doing this inves-
He added: "Trust the police. I am
asking people to be sensitive and
moderate in how they act and say
and do," he said.
On another matter, Richardson
admitted that the detection of crime
"The detection rate is not what
we would like it to be and we are
working on that," he said.
He said two people were arrested
in connection with murders in the
last few months.
Richardson said the 18 crime scene
investigators who graduated yesterday
will now help in the fight against
Richardson is heading a six-mem-
ber team investigating the 31 e-mails
revealed in Parliament by Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley during a no
confidence motion against Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last
Rowley said the e-mails highlight-
ed misbehaviour in public office by
several high-ranking government
officials, including Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan.
Persad-Bissessar and her col-
leagues denied any knowledge of the
e-mails but Persad-Bissessar sub-
sequently called on the police to
probe the matter.
San Francique resident Sankar
Gopie was looking forward to cel-
ebrating his 91st birthday next
month. However, he will never
get the chance to mark this mile-
Gopie, of 12 Bheemul Trace, was
crushed to death on Thursday
night when a 10x12 foot wrought-
iron gate fell on him as he opened
it for his daughter to drive into
Yesterday relatives of the pen-
sioner who is a father of eight,
grandfather of 12 and great grand-
father of six, were still in shock
over his sudden death.
Gopie s daughter Savitri, 49, a
nurse at the San Fernando General
Hospital, said her father would
always open the gate for them to
enter the yard and park.
She said on Thursday her sister
Sumintra, 51, who is also a nurse
at SFGH, worked the morning shift
and was expected to return home
around 4 pm.
"He sweep the driveway and
clean the flowers before he went
to open the gate for her as he nor-
mally would do and it fell on him.
When Sumintra came home she
saw him with the gate on top of
him," she said.
Sumintra told the T&T Guardian
she was shocked when she saw
her father lying on the ground and
jumped out of her car screaming.
"I went to him. He was bleeding
from his elbow and he had a little
blood on his head.
"I scream. I call the neighbours
and two of my cousins and they
took the gate off him. When they
lifted it I saw that he had chest
trauma. I knew he was critical,"
Savitri said Sumintra called her
and she came with an ambulance
from SFGH A&E and they rushed
him to the hospital.
She said her father was con-
scious on the way to San Fernando,
When they got to the hospital,
Savitri said, doctors told them they
would try their best but that their
father was critical.
Around 8 pm Gopie died while
receiving medical treatment.
Savitri said her father would
have celebrated his 91st birthday
on July 24.
"He was a devout Hindu. He
would go to the temple in our yard
every morning and pray and light
his deya at night. He said he want-
ed to do a Ramayan (a Hindu
prayer gathering with reading from
holy the text-Ramayan). Last year
my elder sister died around his
birthday and he could not celebrate
his 90th, so he said this year he
wanted to celebrate it," she said.
Savitri said her father was a
hard-working man who toiled for
years in the garden and sacrificed
to send his children to school.
"He was a good man. He was
very proud of his children and the
sacrifices he made. He used to sell
produce in the Debe Market with
my mother Poptie. He was very
friendly and was the eldest in the
village," she said.
Police have ruled his death as a
Yesterday, Crime Scene Inves-
tigators (CSI) were at the home
taking photos of the gate and the
area where Gopie was found.
Gopie s funeral will take place
tomorrow at 10 am from his home
then to the Shore of Peace, Mos-
quito Creek, La Romaine, for cre-
mation under Hindu rites.
Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan said he was a more wor-
ried man after chairman of the
Integrity Commission Ken Gor-
don s statement about his May
15 meeting with Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Ramlogan commented on Gor-
don s statement yesterday over
the so-called secret meeting. The
AG said the matter would not go
According to Ramlogan, the
Integrity in Public Life Act "does
not give any power to a single
member of the commission. It
does not even give any specific
power to the chairman of the
commission, except when the
commission is duly constituted
and acting as a lawful entity."
He said the chairman s powers
are only effected when the com-
mission is properly constituted.
Ramlogan said it was "not
proper for a member of the com-
mission to purport to exercise
powers of the non-existent com-
He said: "That was an unlawful
usurpation and arrogation unto
himself of powers that properly
belong to the Integrity Commis-
"The most worrying thing is
that Gordon does not seem to
admit or recognise any error of
judgment at all in what he has
done," he added.
Gordon, he said, would also
"continue to operate under this
serious misapprehension as to
what the true extent of what his
The AG found this "deeply
Asked if the Government s con-
fidence in Gordon was now in
question, Ramlogan said he would
reserve comment on that "until
we have an opportunity to study
the statement in its entirety."
Ramlogan reiterated that Gor-
don had no special powers as
chairman of a non-existent com-
mission. Gordon is the only
member of the commission to
remain after the term of the other
members expired in March.
President Anthony Carmona is
expected to appoint additional
Ramlogan said he wanted to
know why Gordon did not publish
the name of the attorney who
advised him in this matter ear-
"Why operate in such a secre-
tive manner when it is something
that involves taxpayers money
and public accountability and
there ought to be transparency
in the dealings?" he asked.
He said important questions
must be answered:
• Which commission requested
the legal advice?
• Why was it requested?
• Why are you pre-emptively
seeking legal advice on behalf of
a non-existent commission?
The AG said the timing of the
release of the name of the attor-
ney (Deborah Peake, SC) was like
"a well-timed dash of kerosene
into a dying fire."
Ramlogan said Gordon had
used the services of Opposition
lawyers and the Government took
issue with that.
It would also be a matter of
concern if the shoe were on the
other foot as well, he said.
The issue "would not blow
away like a passing rain cloud,"
Ramlogan said, as there were still
too many unanswered questions.
National Security Minister, Emanuel George presents CSI graduate Sonya
Chalerie an award for Outstanding Performance during National Security
Training Academy (NSTA) graduation ceremony of the Crime Scene
Investigator Course at the NSTA Multi-Purpose Hall, Cumuto Barracks,
Wallerfield yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
DCP Richardson issues
warning to e-mail 'advisers'
AG troubled by
Grandad dies freak death as gate falls on him
Ninety year old Sankar Gopie of
Bheemul Trace, San Francique
Penal died after 10X12 iron gate
fell on top of him on Thursday
evening. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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