Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, June 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Police officers, especially those investigat-
ing the e-mail probe, are demoralised and
have expressed "grave concerns" over state-
ments about possible breaches of privacy and
lack of trust in the Police Service.
And because of such views and lack of co-
operation in the handing over of electronic
devices, the scope of the work of the inves-
tigators has been limited.
Lead investigator Deputy Police Commis-
sioner Mervyn Richardson made these state-
ment yesterday in an interview on Inspirational
Radio 730 AM, sister station of the T&T
"Everybody could now say we don t trust
the police," he said. "It is very painful, as a
senior officer, because now we have to schedule
meetings with police officers to give them a
sense of comfort, because officers are saying
point blank, Ok, nobody trust us. We ent
good. We can t handle our own thing.
"And mind you, we have trained officers
who are at this time giving evidence in court
relative to phones and relative to other devices.
What does it say to those matters that are
presently before the court?" Richardson asked.
Earlier this week Pamela Elder, SC, lawyer
for Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and
Minister of Local Government and Works and
Infrastructure Suruj Rambachan, said her clients
had refused to hand over their computers and
other devices to the police because they feared
a breach of their constitutional right to pri-
Elder added that because Ramlogan and
Rambachan were voluntarily assisting the
police, they were not obligated to hand over
their computers, cellphones or any other elec-
tronic devices the police might request.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet news briefing
on Thursday, Ramlogan said Elder had advised
him not to hand over his devices on the basis
of an absence of defined protocol by the police.
Only Gary Griffith, security adviser to Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has willingly
handed over his BlackBerry cell phone and
computer to the police.
Saying he has been receiving several calls
from his charges, Richardson added, "Since
yesterday (Thursday) officers have been demor-
alised and have been calling me and other
senior officers and expressing grave concern,
because the same officers that we saying that
we don t trust them and we have no confidence
in and things like that---is the same officers
who protecting people in very high places.
"So what they are saying is, We do not trust
them with our phones but we trust them with
our lives, " Richardson added.
Richardson said he wanted to present the
facts relating to the directive given to the Police
Service by Prime Minister Kamal Persad-
"We have been asked by the prime minister
to investigate the matter. In her instructions
to us she said, Use the law and do what is
necessary to get to the root of this situation.
"We have done no more or no less.
"We are at the point that in order to progress
we must seek the devices of persons and this
is not targeting anyone," Richardson said.
He denied that investigators were operating
on the premise of guilt, saying there were no
"It is an investigation, and to that extent
we have been following clear guidelines and
principles that we apply in everything."
He said if other people were to hand over
their devices, the items would be treated like
any other piece of evidence which would be
carefully handled by Crime Scene Investigations
"Whenever or if ever we should get those
devices that are being requested, it would be
packaged as normal, like how we would do
any other bit of evidence.
"We have trained CSI officers, so it s not as
if I am dealing with that. We have trained
police officers who do the packaging and
labelling. Signatures are affixed and sealed in
tamper-proof bags," Richardson said.
More than that, he said, the Police Service
had been around for "over 400 years" and had
dealt with matters of all types.
"It is amazing that after 400 years of exis-
tence and 50 years of Independence we now
hearing, We don t trust the Police Service.
Richardson said he personally was unfazed
by the negative comments, adding that he had
been a police officer for many years and took
it all in stride.
Law must be for all
Regarding the issue of phone and electronic
devices being voluntarily handed over Richard-
son said officers were of the view that people
were operating "in good faith."
"We thought we were operating in good
faith and nobody have anything to hide and
all is above board.
"You talking about professional people, high
office holders. You not talking about the man
on priority bus route or the man who selling
doubles or fish by the road," Richardson said.
The law therefore, he added, must be for
"There is a presumption the law must be
equal and everyone must have an equal right
and place before the law.
"We recognise the point is high office holders
and the highest amount of respect is being
afforded to this investigation but we hearing
also the police moving too slow and when the
police trying to get the matter forward we
hearing, We don t trust you. We hearing we
incompetent. So how can we go forward, how
can we end it?" Richardson questioned.
On the issue of bringing a foreigner Richard-
son referred to former police commissioner
Dwayne Gibbs and deputy police commissioner
Jack Ewatski who demitted office.
"These are contradictions I cannot explain.
Probably someone with more intellectual capac-
ity might be able to do so."
No word yet from Google
Regarding whether a response has been had
from Google, Richardson said to date the police
had received none.
Richardson said investigators have
approached Google for assistance via the Mutual
Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT) and have
also written independently.
He, however, did not want to comment on
what specifically was requested by the police.
Up to late yesterday investigators had not
received a response from Google.
(See Page A10)
That was Housing Minister Roodal
Moonilal s pronouncement yesterday on
a newspaper report that Government had
"quietly housed" US forensic analyst John
Berryhill at an HDC Federation Park Villas
Saying the story was utterly untrue,
Moonilal said it was malicious, mischievous
and designed to taint public perception
of ongoing current investigations into mat-
ters of national concern."
He said clarification ought to have been
sought from the HDC before the story
was so prominently displayed on the front
page of the paper.
"Such outlandish statements based on
unknown sources with no evidence of
accuracy are most regrettable. The effect
of this was to injure the reputation of a
respected international forensic expert
who visited T&T to assist a client in the
conduct of his duties," Moonilal added.
He said it wasn t a message T&T wanted
to send to professionals and others overseas
who might wish to do business here. (GA)
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says
the Government continues to change its
position on the e-mail probe.
He said so at an impromptu news con-
ference at the Parliament yesterday, minutes
after the House of Representatives was
adjourned to next Wednesday at 1.30 pm.
Rowley said he saw a broadcast of Thurs-
day s post-Cabinet news conference and was
amazed by Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan s comments about not trusting the
police to look at his cell phone and other
devices as they continued investigations.
Rowley described as "hilarious" Ramlogan s
claim that if the police were to look at his
devices they might subsequently give infor-
mation to the Opposition.
Rowley said when the matter arose of the
investigation of the e-mails, allegedly sent
from addresses belonging to the Prime Min-
ister, Ramlogan and Persad-Bissessar "went
out of their way to convince the population
that it is the police that had the authority
to do it and nobody else."
Rowley said subsequently Ramlogan and
other government officials said they had no
problem with any investigator, be it the FBI
Rowley said now, after about a month had
elapsed, he found it strange that Ramlogan
was saying only a foreign investigator would
be allowed to look at his electronic devices.
Rowley said he was now witnessing "open
disdain" on the police from the Government
in this matter.
The Opposition leader also noted the AG s
comment about the government ministers
not being suspects in the matter.
"We are reading from the behaviour of
the AG, speaking for his colleagues, saying
to us that they are beyond the law in this
country," Rowley said.
He said he was not aware of anyone in
T&T who was beyond the investigative
"They have declared themselves beyond
suspiscion," he said.
Rowley repeated his call for the e-mail
servers to be inspected in order to find
answers in the investigation and said until
that was done, the required answers might
not be found.
And commenting on another matter, the
payment of $6.8 million to retrieve a crashed
fire truck, Rowley said the Government
should be ashamed to attempt to blame Chief
Fire Officer Carl Williams for the $6.8 million
fire truck fiasco.
He said it was inappropriate to attribute
blame to a public servant when he was the
lowest officer in the chain of events.
Rowley said it unfortunate that the Gov-
ernment was conducting an audit into the
matter when it was the Cabinet which autho-
rised the agreement. The money was paid
to a contractor to retrieve a fire truck which
ran off the Arima Old Road to Blanchisseuse
in November last year.
Forensics visitor did not stay at
Federation Park says Moonilal
Rowley: AG claims to be
beyond the law of the land
Pupils of the Richmond Street Boys' Anglican School in Port-of-Spain react to the music as
they view the City Day parade of military and para-military units parade yesterday.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
BOYS BEING BOYS
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