Deputy DPP Press Release on ‘Emailgate’

BY THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Joan Honore-PaulRE: INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE EMAIL DISCLOSURES IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BETWEEN MAY 20, 2013 AND MAY 24, 2013

Through various reports in the electronic and print media, it has become obvious that certain correspondence from the United States Department of Justice, sent to the Police Investigative team through the Central Authority, has found its way into the hands of parties who are not members of the Investigative or advising Prosecutorial teams. While the articles are numerous, the following excerpts are instructive:

At page A3 of the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian of Saturday May 9th 2015, Richard Lord reports that the Honourable Prime Minister Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that she:

“had a duty to myself and the members of my Government to have that record cleared in the Parliament, because now is when we got the evidence from independent sources. “We got the evidence through court processes from Google, the Integrity Commission and the US Justice Department. “[emphasis mine]

In another report at page 4 of the Daily Express of Thursday May 7th, 2015 Ms. Ria Taitt reported as follows:

“Moonilal cited the number of authorities which said the e-mails were false. These included a report from an IT. Specialist in the Attorney General’s department, Mr. Roger Sealy; a report from John Berryhill, which called the document a ‘poorly constructed fraud; Jack Rousseau, of the Computer Law Group, in the case of the Integrity Commission versus Google; and the Report of the Justice Department to the head of Central Authority….”

Further, the following is an excerpt from a. page 3 report in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday of Monday April 27, 2015 by writer Andre Bagoo who reported in reference to the Honourable Prime Minister,

“She said the latest disclosures of records to the Integrity Commission concurred with a report by John Berryhill — a former officer in the US Air Force Reserve Office of Special Investigations. They also concurred with disclosures to the Police Service done through the U.S Justice Department.”

Mr. Bagoo ascribed the following words to the Honourable Prime Minister Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar:

“Three sources have now showed us there is no substance, no truth to the fake emails”

In the Daily Express of Friday 8th May, 2015 at page 5 reporter Anna Ramdass recited the full text of a letter dated January 29 2015, from the Acting Director of the United States Department of Justice to Mr. Netram Kowlessar, Head of the Central Authority. This letter and its annexures, the product of a warrant obtained by the United States Department of Justice, were sent to the Police Investigative Team.

It is apparent from the contents of this letter that it should not have found its way into the public domain, since information garnered by way of compliance with, requests for Mutual Legal Assistance, must be used by the receiving State, only in the investigation and prosecution of persons and offences for which assistance has been requested and granted. It is standard practice as it is universally accepted, that in those matters to use this information otherwise is only permissible with the express approval or authorisation of the United States Department of Justice.

I am seized of information which clearly indicates that no such approval of authorisation from the United States Department of Justice was sought by the Central Authority or approved by the United States Department of Justice. It should be noted that the Central Authority is the only body legally authorised to make such a request.

Therefore, the use of this information in the public arena, without the permission of one’s international partner is especially disturbing and dangerous, since such action violates what is to be expected by way of international cooperation and more particularly, it attracts question marks as to our ability to honour our international legal obligations, thus potentially influencing, negatively, the outcome of future requests by Trinidad and Tobago for Mutual Legal Assistance.

Against this backdrop, the public interest demands that I place into the public domain my deep concern over these occurrences and urge those concerned, who should obviously know better, to act in a manner consonant with a greater sense of responsibility.

It is also my view that this is an appropriate juncture to update the public on certain matters arising out of the police investigation, now commonly referred to as the “Emailgate Investigation”.

As you may be aware, this investigation relates not only to whether the emails were in fact sent in September 2012 but also to whether there may have been acts by particular persons which amount to Misconduct in Public Office. The investigation necessarily includes an examination of events outside of the four corners of the purported email correspondence, since these may have the potential to confirm or refute the disputed email communications.

The Investigative Team commenced investigations after .the purported emails were forwarded by the Honourable Prime Minister under cover of a letter dated May 20, 2013 to the acting Commissioner of Police, for investigation.

Having acquired evidence, which in my view attained the appropriate evidentiary threshold, the investigators approached the Central Authority under cover of a letter dated 4th November 2014, for an application to be made for Mutual Legal Assistance.

The United States Department of Justice, being of the view that the application was supported by evidence which met the required level of ‘probable cause’, applied for and received a warrant in the United States of America.

This warrant was to be served on certain service providers, among them Google Inc. A response from the Department of Justice was received through the Central Authority by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Glen. Hackett on February 6th, 2015.

Against this backdrop I wish to make the following observations:

(i) While it is true, that after receipt of the information from the Department of Justice, the police team, led, by Superintendent Baldeo Nanan did send a report to Deputy Commissioner of Police Glen Hackett, it is not true that such report cleared Mr. Anand Ramlogan and Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar in respect of this investigation. This is contrary to a report given by Nalini Seelal in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday dated April 28th, 2015 at page 5.

(ii) The United States Department of Justice’s response did not treat with all of the matters requested by the Investigative Team and further, the United States Department of Justice is yet to relay any information related to the Hotmail accounts “captaingarygriffith@hotmail.com” and “surujrambachan@hotmail.com”. They have indicated that such information will be sent as soon as possible. Quite properly, there was absolutely no finding made by the United States Department of Justice nor was any disclosed in written correspondence. The United States Department of Justice was concerned only with relaying the data or information that was received by virtue of the above-mentioned warrant. This is its legal remit.

(iii) At this time the police investigation has not yet resulted in any finding, whether through the Mutual. Legal Assistance channels or otherwise, that the emails were or were not sent. To give the impression that there has been some finality in this regard is misleading.

(iv) Any parallel investigation by interested parties and the public airing of the supposed results are palpably self-serving and bring to mind the need for the legal maxim, “no man should be a judge in his own cause”. This is a bedrock principle of natural justice, the rule of law and due process. It exists to ensure impartiality by the disqualification of potentially biased or interested parties in the investigations. Further, notwithstanding the fact that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has the institutional strength and history to withstand pressure from whatever source, the publication of this information derived from private sources, has the potential to interfere with the investigations being conducted by independent and impartial bodies, such as, the Integrity Commission and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. Moreover, it has the potential to interfere with the public perception of the soundness of these investigations.

Finally, I feel compelled to indicate that given the status and standing of those persons whose names are raised in this investigation and the national attention that it has obviously generated, it is my view that a comprehensive and speedy resolution is warranted. However, the investigation can only proceed as quickly as evidence is gathered whether by way of mutual legal assistance or otherwise.

Accordingly, it is my view that the police investigative team requires additional time to conclude their investigation. I note with interest that it has been reported in the media that the acting Police Commissioner and the Integrity Commission also share the view that more time is needed.

I am ever mindful that public confidence in the certainty of the eventual findings, whatever the outcome, should be given primacy over expediency. It is therefore with the interest of the Trinidad and Tobago public foremost in mind that I urge all concerned whether directly or indirectly, to allow the police investigators the time and space to complete their investigations without fear, favour, malice, ill-will or hindrance.

Joan Honore-Paul,

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions

May 13, 2015

27 Responses to “Deputy DPP Press Release on ‘Emailgate’”


  • Fire this woman she has proven to be incompetent to investigate this emailgate. The only reason they have the emails from the PM and the former AG it is because they filed for it in a U.S. District court. She don’t know the procedure to retrieve the emails for Suruj and Gary. By the way the police in Trinidad kept Gary cellphone for 6 months trying to turn it on. How could such incompetent persons occupy such high offices. No wonder the murder rate solve ratio is less than 10%.

    • Dr Rowley presented emails in the Parliament of Trinidad & Tobago accusing the sitting administration of wrong doing.
      We are gearing up for a general election here in 2015.
      This is a very serious charge. It is absolutely imperative that the Google Report is released so that the government or Dr Rowley is cleared before the election. Then and only then, the people of Trinidad & Tobago will have an educated opinion how who is who in Trinidad & Tobago politics. We want to know… NOW!.

      • Fire this woman she acted out of her loyalty to the Opposition Leader, she did not let the AG know what she was going to do. That office comes under the supervision of the AG.

  • Time to get rid of the DPP and set up a U.S. Style D.A. System. The DPP in TNT have been a proven failure to date the only politician to go to jail was Panday and that happened by the prodding of the PNM AG who controlled the office of the DPP. Just ask Geoff Henderson.

    Pnmites Kian wondered why no one is in jail for corruption. Now that is a really good question. Usually after a few years of having a file the DPP would come and say case dismissed “insufficient evidence”, “poor police work” or some other excuse. No one challenges his absolute authority.

    There are several PNM politicians who remain uninvestigated because the police is too lazy to do their job properly. Landate, Calabar Foundation, Toruba etc. nothing on those files. Are political thieves untouchable or are the DPP accepting bribes along with the police??? We don’t know!!! That office should be shut down and three DA office set up, one in Port of Spain, San Fernando and another in Tobago. Working in collaboration, the tax payer will get some respect. Or at least stolen money can be retrieved by freezing bank accounts. Further a centralized authority does not fit into the requisite of a true democracy. Justice today is sadly being mocked at by the public because of unusual delays, justice must be swift….or it is no justice.

  • As usual, the pagans don’t like law that questions their choices of governmental personnel, such as KAMLA, Sewage, Bhoe, Howai, Wade Mark and others who manage with large question marks over their heads. Law to them should NOT be partial, it must only apply to their enemies and as Mamoo says, Kamla just used her own law to suspend Dr. Rowley. That is how pagan law is applied. Punishment is only for the enemy. Kamla has committed so many missteps, mistakes, misdemeanors, mu..ers, nah!, Kamla nah! Nothing works since Kamla took reins of this government. She has hijacked the parliament and determined who should be there and who should not. This is what these mercenary bloggers are saying. This is what free minded people should NEVER allow to happen, so we shall continue to be vigilant.

    • They appoint a “junior” to handle this file, she simply cannot do the job and she admits to it. She have the Former AG and PM file, why don’t she come clean with that. By the way Kian the police had full access to Gary computer and cell phone, no wonder he fired himself from the PP.

      Kian while your PNM brain is telling you the PM is guilty of something, let me say these are mere allegations that will not stand in a court of law. You have to have hard evidence, example a dead body and some eye witnesses.

      These are facts : Asked whether there was any investigation into alleged bugging of DPP Roger Gaspard’s office, George replied, “All I can say is I have gotten a report from the Acting Commissioner of Police that there is no bug found in the DPP’s Office.”

      George said the report he received from Acting Commissioner Stephen Williams indicated that in January, “the police made a sweep of that office and nothing like that (an electronic listening/monitoring device) was found.”

      No electronic spy device was found even though Chief Propagandist Al Rawi said SIS planted it there, lol.
      As the good book states “all liars shall be throw into Hell” Lying is a serious thing Kian.

      • “No electronic spy device was found even though Chief Propagandist Al Rawi said SIS planted it there, lol.”
        Again Mamoo, Mamoo did I not say that no electronic device was found?. But what was EVIDENT in the report given by the Commissioner was that there was evidence that INFRA RED scanning was done. Another way to put it. Attempts at spying was made via infra red devices to spy on the DPP. Don’t try to play smart with foolishness. Was there attempted spying? Absolutely! Was a physical device found? No. But that in itself is not evidence that there was no spying. Make a fool of yourself but please dont try fooling other people.

        • Do you research you must have the right angle to conduct such spying and the offices were incompatible, meaning not at the right angle for such event.

    • At this time the question mark is hanging over both parties. The government if the emails are real and Dr Rowley if they are fake. The only solution is to release these Google findings NOW. Forget about Pagans and sewage and let the TRUTH prevail. No more speculation and drama… Just the TRUTH.

    • The mere fact that you have resorted to using names as stated in your posts indicates that you the chief high priests of them all.

  • This is a very brave woman. I commend her for speaking truth to power.

    The accused persons in this matter cannot get off that easily. Russo did not tell us anything that we didn’t all already know re the non-existence of the “anan@gmail.com” email account cited in the package Dr. Rowley brought to the House.

    Nevertheless, there was a sufficiency of “probable cause” to merit an investigation and for the U.S. authorities to issue the fact-finding warrant upon Google and whomever else. And the “evidentiary threshold” required under local law continues to merit a full and complete investigation.

    Therefore, Ms. Honore-Paul is right to issue the statement she has.

    But it puts no less than a Prime Minister, and indeed Parliament, in check. This takes a high order of moral courage. She certainly is an example of rectitude that is a welcome change from the squalid and the venal we have come to expect from our high office-holders.

    I pray for her protection!

    Shalom.

    • The only thing brave about Ms. Honore- Paul is her brazen expression of support for her political party and its leader. At least the DPP had the decency to recuse himself from this case.
      Let us not lose sight of the repeated no confidence efforts to overthrow this democratically elected coalition government.His ambition to become PM has brought out the worst in him. He has developed into a worse version of Manning’s raging bull with his negativity, aggression and corrupt, conspiratorial emails.

  • All this trash writing is not going to get it. We don’t want to know who is brave or coward. We want the release of the Google Report. Let the TRUTH prevail. Allow the people of Trinidad & Tobago to go to the voting booth with accurate info and a clear head so that we can cast our votes with confidence. Enough already. Cut out the B.S.

  • Is this lady flouting the laws of natural justice? Can she tell anyone when to speak out nor when not to, especially in their own defense?. The matter is not before the courts. The matter was raised in the parliament, a body higher than she, and if she goes back to read the motion brought by Rowley in its entirety she will she why it is that it is necessary for the government to speak out. Those so called “emails” pale in comparison to the intent and wording of Rowley’s motion. The only intent of which was to bring down the government. If the configuration of seats in the House of Representatives were different the government could have fallen in September 2013. It is the same action that Rowley by his motion attempted to take against the government that they have now successfully taken against him. Let the chips fall where tehy may!

    • Well said Mortimer…the DPP & TTPS are certainly trying to do a hatchet job on this PPGORTT!

  • The most significant revelation in the Deputy DP statement is that the emails are fake.

  • Ken,

    Only miscreants do not want TRUTH.

    But TRUTH may pass by good people and they won’t know it, if they allow their focus to become too narrow…

    The Google report will at best give you FACTS. These are important elements of the search for TRUTH. But do not expect the Google report,by itself, to yield TRUTH.

    This is the spin and twist that the PM has attempted, and which this brave lady, speaking for the Office of the DPP, has corrected.

    For example, the Google report says nothing about Rambachan and Griffith, as the Deputy DPP pointed out. And perhaps it also says nothing about the real Ramlogan account (“anand@gmail.com” perhaps), since Google is under no obligation to do the work of the investigating authority and make allowance for typos.

    So the lady is correct that we need to investigate beyond the boundary that would otherwise be delimited by a typo.

    TRUTH requires that we look at more than FACTS.

    And finding and speaking TRUTH often requires COURAGE, especially when miscreants are about. Therefore, a truth-seeker that is also an exemplar of courage ought to be applauded by one who is sincerely seeking after TRUTH.

    Word to the wise…

    Shalom.

    Shalom.

  • “As you may be aware, this investigation relates not only to whether the emails were in fact sent in September 2012 but also to whether there may have been acts by particular persons which amount to Misconduct in Public Office. The investigation necessarily includes an examination of events outside of the four corners of the purported email correspondence, since these may have the potential to confirm or refute the disputed email communications”

    So Al Rawi was right it is not the emails but the content they investigating. This is a public joke. This woman is totally lost it is time she step down. You cannot investigate a democratically elected government based on some false emails. This is how civil war starts….

  • The release of her letter to the media by this civil servant, the Deputy DPP Honore-Paul, scolding the Prime Minister, could be considered subordination. This letter was forwarded to the media before it was sent to her boss, the AG.The DPP’s office is now politically contaminated.

  • The variable here is ‘timing’. As much as most people are calling for protocol to be maintained e.g., wait for the conclusion from the TTPS and Parliamentary Investigation; has the civil servant informed the AG who is her boss before releasing to the Media? It certainly comes across as the Deputy DPP cannot control her emotions, the question that arises is, how can such an emotional person command such as office? This is why emotional intelligence has displaced IQs and Multiple Intelligence as the primary criterion in hiring suitable candidates for important positions. It appears most bloggers are looking at one side of the coin only.

  • The following encapsulated remark by TMan, is proof of what most progressive and well-meaning people have written about infinitely. TMan writes…. “The release of her letter to the media by this civil servant, the Deputy DPP Honore-Paul, scolding the Prime Minister, could be considered subordination. ” This pre-supposes that the ‘dalit'(Honore-Paul) should always show ‘respect’ for the ‘brahmin'(Kamla). Or, another way of looking at it: The public servant is subservient to the politician (who is the boss). Or, it also pre-supposes that being the head of government, no public servant can tell the prime minister what to do. It also brings to mind the case of the former Solicitor General who, on discovering the misdeeds of Anand Ramlogan, the former Attorney General in the Prison Gate Scandals, wrote to the Prime Minister and she (the Prime Minister) sent back the letter to Anand Ramlogan to investigate himself. This in the mind of TMan (and people of his ilk) is proof that insubordination is the culprit and not process or the job of a civil servant to do. In TMan’s mind the Prime Minister is above ALL. She cannot make mistakes, she is an entity onto herself, she does not need the advice, correction or even display of civility or be notified of proper protocol. He assumes that Kamla has now become a hindu god and ALL must bow to her. Fact is this TMan: On reading the statements of the deputy DPP. She is one hundred percent correct in bringing to the fore a few things: 1. As Prime Minister of Trinidad an Tobago Kamla Persad Bissessar has certain responsibilities that are permanently enshrined in her duties that she must upkeep. Among them, a degree of culpability to uphold international relations showing respect, yes respect, for a nation’s commitment to international allegiances. For example, if the United States were to ask for information on an individual, be it legal or for security reasons and Kamla were to come into the public domain and give such information to the press, it is in fact a dereliction of duty. In the case of emailgate, while it is within her prerogative to discuss the matter of emailgate as a political issue. Kamla was totally out of place to publish confidential correspondence with the Justice Department of the United States of America into the political fray. This is what the Deputy DPP was saying and it is within her rights as the deputy DPP to warn Kamla. Remember, Kamla was acting as a politician (under the cloak of Prime Minister) when she behaved is such a notoriously disdainful manner. By law, the institution most responsible for carrying out the laws of the land is NOT the prime minister(a politician), not members of the Cabinet, or house of representative, IT IS IN FACT THE PUBLIC SERVICE. REMEMBER GOVERNMENTS COME AND GOVERNMENTS GO, BUT THE PUBLIC SERVICE REMAINS THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY TO UPHOLD AND CARRYOUT THE DUTIES OF A GOVERNMENT. In political we loosely use the terms government to describe parties who forms the execute arm of government. BUT IN REALITY THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERING THE SERVICES ARE THE PUBLIC SERVANTS.
    SO, AS the public servant with the authority to prosecute, and yes TMan prosecute even the prime minister (were she to commit a grave offense), she has the right to remind the PrimeMinister that she is over stepping her bounds. What you are saying is that somehow, we are to adapt hindu practices (of bowing to the gods – Kamla) into the way we conduct government’s business. It is my hope that most people would catch this and respond in kind to that kind of cultural subservience. Subordination? Political contamination? The injection of such invectives is exactly what is taking place in Guyana as we speak. These words are brought into play just because they don’t like it. Everything they don’t like they contaminate it. The ONLY functioning department in the country today is the DPP. They operate with distinction but that is not the wishes of the PP and their gang. They want TOTAL control and TOTAL say in everything. This is the kind of behavior that constitutes the description of paganism. We MJST avoid at all costs the introduction of cultural norms that are foreign to our way of life in the conducting of official business. We must also avoid the injection of the idea that because you don’t like something it is wrong. We know that the present government enjoys a majority in the government but democracy must prevail and that means we should point out all the frailties of their governance.
    They are many and this overreach by TMan(an agent of the government), to tell us that a prosecuting agency should submit to the will of a government minister is totally wrong and undemocratic.

  • Yoruba Israelite

    @TMan:

    1) Political contamination of the Office of the DPP:

    Don’t think so. The Deputy DPP, as it was her duty to do, sought to defend the integrity of the investigation still in progress, against a too-hasty, and self-serving, attempt by the Prime Minister to exonerate herself. The investigation is incomplete.

    A typo in Ramlogan’s email address made by the whistle-blower, clearly, cannot be a basis on which to pronounce that the “emails are fake”.

    In any case, the Google report cannot, by its nature, support any such conclusion. At best, it can say what we already knew from the very day that Rowley brought the matter to the Parliament, that the email address, “anan@gmail.com”, does not exist.

    That is an interesting fact. It is equally consistent with both competing theories of the matter. One theory obviously is fabrication. The other is that the emails referred to are real, but that the whistle-blower made a typo,or typos, in the telling of his tale. To sort out the latter, obviously the investigation must allow for the possibility of whistle-blower typo, and so must step outside the limits that would otherwise be imposed by too narrow a reading of the email addresses cited. That in turn is only warranted if there is a sufficient evidentiary threshold that has been crossed considering all the other evidence. That threshold was clearly crossed. The U.S. Justice Department clearly agreed, citing what they term “probable cause”.

    2) Insubordination.

    The charge of insubordination against the Office of the DPP is plainly ludicrous. The AG in fact acknowledged the independence of the Office of the DPP in conducting investigations and prosecuting wrong-doing. An office-holder cannot be both insubordinate and independent at the same time on a given matter.

    Such independence must especially be respected when the wrong-doing alleged involves the political directorate of which the AG is a part.

    Keep trying. But it is all too obvious that in this matter a certain tribal tendentiousness will prevent many from thinking straight.

    I for one have no partisan dog in this fight. I do not now, nor have I ever been a member of or even a voter of the PNM or any other political party. But I very much am incensed at the very idea that these accusations — against a PM, AG and other cabinet members — could ring true, as they still do, especially against the backdrop of the Section 34 matter. The evidentiary threshold was crossed a long time ago.

    If the emails were in fact a fabrication, then Rowley must give up the “whistle-blower”, who would then in fact be no such thing, rather a conspirator engaged in a monstrous conspiracy to undermine and bring down a duly elected government. Rowley himself would then have to demit office and step down from any political role, for then he would at best have been duped as part of such a monstrous conspiracy, or at worst have been a part of it. That too would certainly warrant investigation.

    So the stakes are high. And TRUTH requires that we keep our inferences honest.

    The accused will of course leap to illogic and untruth if that would serve their purpose. But the rest of us, unless hopelessly tribal, must stick to logic and principle.

    In this regard, I give full marks to this brave and honourable Deputy DPP, and a big fat zero to the accused in this matter. Their behaviour thus far seems to my mind more consistent with guilt than innocence. Otherwise there would be no cause for all this twist and spin we see emanating from normally logical legal minds.

    Shalom.

  • You guys are so concerned about protocol and process when it comes to the PM and her government, but now you support the Deputy DPP who did not follow protocol and procedure in the submission of her letter. Why was this letter sent to the Media by Honore-Paul before consultation with the AG who received it after the media exposure. If that is not political contamination, what is?

    • We all have learned from the Prime Minister how much respect she has for process, in the matter of the Solicitor General and Anand Ramlogan. She has no regards for process and YOU and everyone else know that.

  • “Their behaviour thus far seems to my mind more consistent with guilt than innocence. Otherwise there would be no cause for all this twist and spin we see emanating from normally logical legal minds”.(YORUBA)

    Complete and total idle speculation, my friend, from someone who continuously repeats the value of TRUTH.
    The PM has to call an election before the end of September.She cannot go into an election with this email matter looming over the country.Both sides require a conclusion to this matter.The track record of the Police and the Integrity Commission is abysmal. There are examples of unsolved cases pending for as long as ten years whenever these cases involve guilt by the PNM or their agents.The government is within their rights to present its legal findings of emailgate.

    • Yoruba Israelite

      And the DPP is not only right, but obligated, to respond to a false claim of exoneration.

      I have responded elsewhere to the tardiness of the probe. The delay implicates the political directorate.

      Now it wants to rush through a political exoneration, based on twisting and spinning the facts, in complete disregard of the still ongoing investigation.

      It is interesting that the push-back came from a still-independent DPP’s office, while the Police Service, and the Integrity Commission, which are the actual investigating authorities, remain silent. I wonder why. But I think I already know the answer.

      Shalom.

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