Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 20, 2013
A Government directive to
withdraw former FIFA vice-pres-
ident and up-coming Chaguanas
West by-election candidate Jack
Warner s diplomatic passport
could be a well-engineered plan
to take him out of the election
equation, a legal source is alleg-
The diplomatic passport, issued
to all Government MPs, gave Warn-
er protective immunity and without
it, he is now open to possible extra-
dition by US law-enforcement
authorities, the source said.
"Remember Warner s son,
Daryan Warner, has been named
as a co-operating witness into an
FBI investigation into FIFA corrup-
Warner, at a Chaguanas West
meeting, strenuously denied that
he or any of his family members is
being investigated by US author-
But the legal source, requesting
strict anonymity, insisted, "Without
the immunity provided by his diplo-
matic passport, the US can now
request Warner s extradition."
He continued,"The timing of the
Government s retrieval of Warner s
diplomatic passport is very oppor-
tune and relevant.
"It would be a challenge for the
Government if he wins the Chagua-
nas West by-election. It could spell
the downfall of the People s Part-
nership Government. Other dis-
satisfied government MPs will want
The T&T Guardian contacted the
US Embassy, asking if that country
put pressure on the T&T Govern-
ment to retrieve Warner s passport
and if he was under any investi-
gation in the US. It was also asked
if Warner could now be nabbed by
But the US remains tightlipped
about the Warner matter.
Press specialist Charleen Thomas
sent back a release which she said
should be viewed as a US Embassy
response to the questions.
"As a matter of long standing
policy, we are not able to comment
on law-enforcement matters or on
individual immigration cases.
"Any questions related to T&T
passports should be directed to the
Government of T&T."
Warner resigned as national
security minister and Chaguanas
West MP amidst widespread calls
for him to do so after a damning
report on Concacaf during his
He was rejected by the Govern-
ment as a UNC candidate in the
July 29 Chaguanas West by-election
and has formed his own party, the
Independent Liberal Party, to con-
test the seat.
He said on Thursday he received
a call from acting Chief Immigration
Officer Keith Sampson telling him
to immediately surrender his diplo-
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister
Dr Roodal Moonilal said the min-
istry asked the National Security
Ministry to assist with retrieving
it. Moonilal, in a newspaper inter-
view, said the passport is the prop-
erty of the Government of T&T
and must be returned when a min-
ister no longer holds office.
The Guardian called Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan for a
response on the matter but he said
he does not issue passports, and to
check with the Foreign Affairs Min-
Lisa Daniel-Charles, communi-
cations officer at the Foreign Affairs
Ministry, said there was no infor-
mation there about the US putting
pressure on the Government to
retrieve Warner s passport.
The Guardian tried National
Security Minister Emmanuel
George, under whose ministry the
Immigration Division falls, but he
referred the matter back to the For-
eign Affairs Ministry.
Told that some are of the view
that the retrieval of Warner s pass-
port is a plan to remove him from
the Chaguanas West by-election
equation, he replied, "Let them say
"People are saying all sorts of
things." Pressed on the Warner
issue, George said, "I don t know.
Don t ask me. You are asking me
things I am not familiar with."
Former prime minister Basdeo
Panday, asked his views on the
handing back of diplomatic pass-
ports, said it is the government that
can determine who has one and
who does not.
Giving his own experience, Pan-
day said, "When I ceased to be a
member of Cabinet, I handed up
my diplomatic passport. And I also
gave it up when I was no longer
prime minister or leader of the
"I went on blue (passports for
ordinary citizens). And when that
expired, I applied through the Par-
liament and was told I am entitled
(as a former prime minister) to a
"Yes, I have a diplomatic pass-
port. It s stamped former prime
Panday said the government,
after you have given up your diplo-
matic passport, can decide if to
allow you to have one again.
He said he was unaware the US
wanted Warner for an investigation
or is seeking to extradite him.
Panday, who was ousted as leader
of the UNC by Persad-Bissessar,
said he has no doubt, however, that
the timing of the retrieval of Warn-
er s passport has to do with "the
present political struggles and the
upcoming local government elec-
Senior counsel Dana Seetahal has
agreed with Deputy Director of Pub-
lic Prosecutions Joan Honore-Paul s
concerns about acting Police Com-
missioner Stephen Williams com-
ments on the "fake" e-mail .
Honore-Paul said on Thursday that
the CoP s statements on the e-mail
probe were "grossly reckless and irre-
Seetahal said, "When the CoP made
that statement it was not just inap-
propriate but out of line. given the
fact he was not the investigator.
"But it may be that the CoP, not
being an investigator himself, didn t
appreciate that. His background in
the police service has been more
administrative and as a police pros-
Seetahal said Williams comments
hurt the perception of how the probe
is moving along in the public mind
and his comments could have led
people to use that view as if there
was conclusion of the probe.
She said it could have also been
misused by people who had self-serv-
ing agendas to suggest there had been
finality and there was nothing further
to come from the probe .
"Whereas it had been evident to
my mind that the actual documents
themselves didn t purport to be the
actual e-mails," Seetahal added.
She said everyone who saw the
documents recognised they would
probably have been cut and pasted
and the issue is whether there were
e-mails from which these documents
were created and whether the contents
were a true representation of the con-
tent of any real e-mails.
Given that, the CoP s comments
were "more than unfortunate," See-
tahal said, "The CoP is not just an
ordinary man in the street. He s head
of the institution of the police service
and to make that statement as con-
clusion was improper and all the other
things stated by the deputy DPP.
"I was shocked that the CoP said
what he did, when it should have
been evident what the probe was
about when he assigned it to DCP
"Saying it was a fake was also dan-
gerous as it led to people s statements
on that, when there had been no such
finding (that it was fake)."
Seetahal said the CoP missed several
steps of the investigation when he
made his comment.
Seetahal is representing Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan in the issue.
Khan: She was out of place
Deputy DPP Joan Honore-Paul s
view of acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams statements on the
"false" e-mails was out of place, since
she isn t in charge of the investigation
and she has now compromised her
position as the probe s legal adviser,
says senior counsel Israel Khan.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan
said he had no comment on Paul s
But Senior Counsel Khan, who is
the Prime Minister s attorney in the
e-mail issue, said, "While the timing
of the CoP s statements at this stage
wasn t sagacious for him, no one can
get around the fact the e-mails are
false and fabricated. At least he had
the guts to say it.
"I m positive the Cyber Crime Unit
of the police service would have indi-
cated the purported e-mails are false.
So it is very disingenuous for the
deputy DPP to criticise the acting CoP
for saying his statements.
"The assistant DPP isn t in charge
of the investigation, and it isn t within
her place to speak about compromise
of any probe, as she has now com-
promised her position as legal adviser,
which she was---and nothing else."
Khan added, "Her utterances give
the impression only the Prime Minister
Attorney General, Suruj Rambachan
and Gary Griffith are being investi-
gated. But the police have told us at
a meeting they are probing to see if
these purported e-mails are totally
false and in a question I put to the
lead investigator on whether Dr Rowley
is being investigated, either for mis-
behaviour in public office, or treason."
He said the lead investigator, DCP
Mervyn Richardson, had said every-
thing was being investigated in the
matter of whether the e-mails were
"No one acting on behalf of the
Prime Minister or others have called
for the probe to stop, but it appears
other people would like it to stop,"
Khan commented. "We want this
investigation to be carried to its fullest
to find out who conspired to bring
down the government by this big con
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi says the
PNM "is warmed (that) the independ-
ence, integrity and intelligence of the
office of the DPP is able to shine as
brightly as it has as evidenced by
deputy DPP Joan Honore-Paul s state-
He added, "We maintain our call
for an independent, efficient inquiry
into the matter. The deputy DPP s
commentary resonates with earlier
commentary by the PNM following
CoP Williams reported statements
that the e-mails were fake.
"We questioned then, as does the
deputy DPP now, the ability of the
acting CoP to draw conclusions on the
veracity of the e-mails when he s not
the investigating officer.
Al-Rawi added, "It defies logic and
good sense that the acting CoP would
not have distanced himself from the
reported comments, which bound him
to a premature and seemingly unac-
ceptable conclusion that the e-mails
"It is clear T&T can rely upon an
independent, intelligent office of the
DPP, and the PNM stands ready, willing
and able to assist in investigation of
the content of the material."
Jack's passport recall
an election tactic
The diplomatic passport of former government minister Jack Warner
which has been withdrawn by the Government
CoP out of line
Seetahal agrees with Honore-Paul:
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