Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2013 Contents Do you think Mr Gordon owes you an
Yes, I do. But Mr Gordon is not the kind
of person who apologises. He always dismissed
my concerns in a most cavalier manner... in
a way which suggested that he thought he
was the emperor and I his subject.
What was your working relationship with
Perfect until November 29. A month after
the relationship began to deteriorate as a result
of Mr Jeremy s letter to Gordon requesting
that I not participate in the investigation. I
protested. Nobody can recuse me. I am the
one to recuse myself.
Did your defiance anger anyone?
Yes. It angered Mr Gordon. He continuously
kept telling me he did not want me there and
started to call meetings before the scheduled
time, so I would not be present. He mistreated
me several times at the commission.
Did you hold any animosity against Mr
I have no animosity towards Mr Gordon. I
never stopped speaking to him. I am not that
kind of person. I have very high values.
Did the commission show bitterness
They did. But I didn t. I still don t hold any
animosity towards any of them.
What are your views about the secret
meeting with Dr Rowley and Mr Gordon?
I am not surprised about this exposé involv-
ing the secret meeting with Mr Gordon and
Mr Rowley. Part of the problem I experienced
with Mr Gordon stemmed from his apparent
bias and his refusal to accept my advice which
I gave in good faith in the interest of the com-
mission at all times. I am against Mr Gordon s
modus operandi, the way he conducted meet-
I am of the view that relative to that meeting
it was injudicious to hold it where he did.
The commission issued a release on June
5, stating that they had obtained a legal opin-
ion which advised that they have the power
to investigate the e-mail allegations raised
by Rowley, but could only do so until com-
missioners were appointed. What are you
The release was mind-boggling to me. Mr
Gordon purports to speak on behalf of the
commission at a time when it is non-existent.
This is consistent with his emperor-like modus
operandi, as he views the commission as if it
was his personal kingdom. It is my view that
his attitude at all times was chauvinistic and
narrow-minded. I am not blaming Mr Rowley.
Anyone can seek a meeting with a person,
but Mr Gordon s position is a quasi-judicial
Some radio callers have expressed the view
that in similar circumstances the Honourable
Prime Minister has also held meetings at her
home. The Prime Minister is not in a quasi-
judicial officer and, therefore, is entitled to
hold meetings with her Cabinet ministers
wherever and whenever she pleases. This is
my view. Therefore, he should have taken the
necessary steps to see that he held the meeting
at his office. An uncorroborated aide-memoire
can state anything. Mr Gordon said he did
nothing wrong, improper and had not breached
protocol. Why did he have to commit anything
in writing? Why did he have to defend himself?
Now that the matter is before the commission
Mr Gordon has to recuse himself because of
his interference. It is not for Mr Rowley to
take full responsibility, it is Mr Gordon. The
complaint is pending before the commission
and an investigation has got to be carried out
and the visit concerned that matter. So by
seeking advice, the chairman ought to have
been concerned about being involved in a
controversial political matter. He may not have
broken laws that would entail court charges,
but in my view his behaviour was in breach
of a moral law.
Why did you remain silent for so long?
Because I had matters pending in the court
and it would have been inappropriate for me
to give my views which might have been likely
to prejudice my cases. In other words, the
matters were sub judice.
Do you think Mr Gordon has integrity?
You are asking me to judge him. It is only
God who can judge us. I feel he acted uneth-
ically, knowing the sensitive issue engaging
Should Mr Gordon resign?
I think he should seriously consider that as
an option, as he should do the right thing
because it is the right thing to do, which is
the motto of the Integrity Commission.
Now that Mr Gordon has refused to budge,
how do you view this?
Of course I have not seen or heard it, but
you are telling me he has said so and has said
that he s acting under Section 5 within the
ambit of Integrity in Public Life Act. If what
you say is correct, then he is misinterpreting
the section. That section is concerned with
investigations before the commission and in
any event, Mr Gordon is not empowered to
act alone under that section.
So is Mr Gordon a law unto himself?
It would appear that he is misinterpreting
the section which he says gives him the power
to do as he pleases. That cannot be so. Mr
Gordon alone has absolutely no power under
the act, but can only act when a decision is
taken by the entire commission.
Is Mr Gordon unfit for the chair?
I am of the view that Mr Gordon is the
worst chairman under whom I have worked
because (he has) never exhibited, in my humble
view, the ethics required of a chairman in a
Why has the commission been involved
in so much controversy?
I think it has been embroiled in controversy
because the chairman ought to be at least
legally trained so as to properly guide himself.
The former president made a lot of errors
because he was not legally trained.
Do you think the commission will regain
The commission will always be viewed with
suspicion by members of the public because
of the controversies that have surrounded it.
How do you think the Rowley/Gordon
matter will end?
That will be a matter for the President.
If Mr Gordon steps down and you are
offered any position on the commission will
I shall always be willing to give service to
my country when required to do so. I enjoyed
the work of the commission. I thought it was
a good challenge until Mr Gordon s relationship
with me deteriorated.
As a former judge, did you wield too much
power as deputy chair?
I never aspired to take over his position. I
chaired the commission between Dr St Cyr s
resignation and the assumption of Mr Gordon s
appointment for several meetings.
Do you think Mr Gordon felt threatened
by your presence?
Mr Gordon feels threatened by anyone who
does not agree with him. He cannot accept
the opinion of anyone who disagrees with
him. That was my experience with him and
that is my perception.
In your times of stress, who did you turn
to for help and advice?
I always turn to the Lord to guide and protect
me at all times. I hold very high values and
practise those values.
Were your legal fees a tidy sum?
Yes, they are very high because a lot of work
had to be done in both matters by my attor-
Did you have sleepless nights?
Many. I actually became a nervous wreck
because I was accused of something of which
am concerned, I did nothing wrong. I merely
refused to recused myself without a proper
basis for me to do so.
Mrs Gafoor, after months of pleading with
you unsuccessfully for an interview, I must
thank you for accepting my request.
You will appreciate that I was not in a posi-
tion to speak until the appropriate time to do
so, which is now.
June 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
'I have no animosity towards Mr Gordon'
From Page A6
Gafoor served as:
• Senior magistrate
• Deputy solicitor general
• Director of Public Prosecutions
• Vice president of Industrial Court
• Senior lecturer and course director
at Hugh Wooding Law School
Holistic Music School
director Dr Patricia
her school's ensemble at
the opening of the Eighth
Reading In Key concert
series at the Little Carib
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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