By the Multimedia Desk
January 29, 2015 – trinidadexpress.com
DIRECTOR of the Police Complaints Authority David West on Thursday issued a statement related to the rapidly unfolding events involving the allegations that he was asked by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to withdraw his witness statement in a defamation lawsuit related to the failed extradition involving Section 34 applicants Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh, in exchange for him getting the job at the PCA. West has disclosed that as a result of claims made in the media and responses given by Ramlogan, he (West) had reported the matter to the police.
The following is the full text of West’s statement:
On Wednesday the 21st of January 2015 I was contacted by Ms Anika Gumbs who indicated to me that a source had confided in her as follows:
(i) That prior to my appointment as the Director of the Police Complaints Authority (“the Authority”) on the 7th of November 2014 the Hon. Attorney General had asked me to withdraw a witness statement which I had made on behalf of Dr Keith Rowley in Claim No. CV2012-02948 Anand Ramlogan v. Dr Keith Rowley in return for the Government’s support for my appointment as Director of the Authority; and Ms Gumbs asked me to comment on the allegation. I advised Ms Gumbs that the matter was before the High Court and therefore could not comment.
The proceedings referred to above, which are in fact pending before the High Court, are a claim by the Hon. Attorney General against Dr Rowley for damages for defamation. The subject matter of the Hon. Attorney General’s claim relates to statements allegedly made by Dr Rowley in 2011 concerning the case for the extradition of Mr Ishwar Galbaransingh and Mr Steve Ferguson with which I was involved up to 2010 as the former head of the Central Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. I was appointed as Director of the Authority on the 7th of November 2014.
In the Sunday Express Newspaper for the 25th of January 2015 an article by Ms Anika Gumbs entitled “AG DUCKS” was published. The article contained the allegations against the Hon. Attorney General on which I was asked by Ms Gumbs to provide comment.
As I sought to make clear in a radio interview on the 26th of January 2015, it is matter of public record that my witness statement was first filed in the High Court on the 27th of June 2014 on an application by Dr Rowley for an extension of time for the statement to be filed. Upon the Court of Appeal ultimately granting Dr Rowley the extension on the 19th of December 2014 my witness statement was formally filed on the 19th of December 2014. I hope this makes it patent that I did not withdraw my witness statement or provide any other inducement whatsoever to earn anyone’s support for my appointment as
Director of the Authority.
The allegations published in the Sunday Express article “AG DUCKS” suggest that the Hon. Attorney General committed serious criminal conduct in relation to his office and the administration of justice in Trinidad and Tobago. Due process demands that any such allegations should be investigated by the proper authorities and not in the media. I can disclose that I was taking steps in that regard prior to the publication of the article to ensure that I provided the appropriate authorities with the best available corroborative evidence for their
Although the Hon. Attorney General initially refused to make any comment on the matter, he is now on the public record denying categorically that he ever requested me to withdraw my witness statement in his claim against Dr Rowley. I am compelled to say publicly, without more, that my recollection of what transpired is diametrically opposed to the Hon. Attorney General’s denial that he ever approached me.
Accordingly, I have this morning made a report to the Ag. Commissioner of Police on the matter of the allegations against the Hon. Attorney General reported upon in Ms Gumbs’ article. I trust that the Ag Commissioner will take swift action on my report as he considers appropriate or as he may be advised and that due process will be ensured and the integrity of any investigation will be preserved.
January 29, 2015