By Andre Bagoo
January 30, 2015 – newsday.co.tt
ACTING Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams yesterday announced that he had ordered a police probe into an allegation of an attempt to pervert the course of justice made against Attorney General Anand Ramlogan by Director of the Police Complaints Authority David West.
In a media release, the police public affairs unit stated, “The Commissioner of Police (Ag), Mr Stephen Williams, wishes to advise that today, Thursday 29th January, 2015, he was visited by Mr David West at Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, and presented with a signed statement, in which Mr West made an allegation of ‘an attempt to pervert the course of justice’, against Senator the Honourable, Anand Ramlogan, Attorney General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The statement continued, “As a consequence, the Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation into the matter.” The investigation will be led by Deputy Commissioner of Police – Operations (Ag), Harold Phillip.
The statement did not disclose any details of the allegations contained in the West statement.
In an immediate reaction, Ramlogan said he welcomed the probe, stated there was political conspiracy involved and called for caution.
“I welcome the announcement by the Commissioner of Police of an investigation into the allegations made by Mr David West,” Ramlogan said. “I trust that the investigation would be handled professionally, thoroughly and expeditiously. I will co-operate fully with this investigation and look forward to my vindication.”
The Attorney General further stated, “All parties must now allow due process to take its course. These latest spurious allegations are but part of a wider political conspiracy that is designed to damage the Government as we draw closer to elections.”
Ramlogan has denied the allegations contained in a Sunday Express article that he asked West to withdraw his witness statement in a defamation lawsuit Ramlogan has against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley for comments about Section 34 and extradition proceedings involving businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson. The article alleged Ramlogan promised West he would be appointed PCA director if he withdrew from the lawsuit.
In a statement on Sunday, the Attorney General said, “Whilst I was and remain reluctant to comment on a matter in which I am the claimant that is awaiting trial before the High Court, I wish to categorically reject and deny the absurd allegation that I asked the PCA chairman David West to withdraw his witness statement during a telephone conversation which allegedly took place on October 31, 2014, or at any time thereafter.” Ramlogan further stated, “I was only aware that Mr West had filed a witness statement in this case when it was served on my attorneys on December 22, 2014.”
Ramlogan also stated it was impossible for him to have made such a representation as it is for the President to appoint the PCA director, which is an independent post.
Section 6 of the PCA Act states, “6. (1) The Authority shall comprise a Director and a Deputy Director to be appointed by the President on the joint advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.”
PCA director: A different story
While it was surmised that the statement submitted by West to the police related to the newspaper report, his submission to the police was not released.
In a release, West stated his complaint related to the newspaper article but did not go into specifics of his statement to the police.
The former head of the Central Authority said, “I am compelled to say publicly, without more, that my recollection of what transpired is diametrically opposed to the Honourable Attorney General’s denial that he ever approached me.”
“Accordingly, I this morning made a report to the Ag Commissioner of Police on the matter of the allegations against the Honourable Attorney General reported upon,” West said. “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.” West did not specify in his statement the nature of the reported approach. Efforts to contact West were unsuccessful.
This is not the first time West and Ramlogan have sparred publicly. In 2011, both engaged in a war of words when Ramlogan criticised West’s appointment as “deputy director” of the Financial Intelligence Unit under the PNM, saying the post did not exist. West also criticised Ramlogan’s handling of an extradition case involving Doreen Alexander Durity in 2013.
Rumours circulated yesterday that Ramlogan may have resigned or had been called to a meeting to explain the reports by Acting Prime Minister Errol Mc Leod.
The Cabinet – which at a minimum comprises the Prime Minister and Attorney General – met yesterday, the regular day of the week when its meetings are held. There was no Cabinet media briefing yesterday.
There were further rumours that the Attorney General was due to hold a press conference at Cabildo Chambers, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday afternoon though no official notification of this was sent. Reporters lined up outside Cabildo as the sun set.
Ramlogan, Mc Leod and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar did not immediately respond to messages on the matter.
The Prime Minister returned to Trinidad at about 6.41 pm yesterday after official visits to Costa Rica and Washington DC last night. She was met by members of her Cabinet at the VIP Lounge of Piarco International Airport, but there was no media coverage.
COP wants swift probe
Congress of the People (COP) political leader Prakash Ramadhar yesterday called for a swift investigation into allegations made against Ramlogan saying such was essential to vindicate the rights of all.
Ramadhar said, “Such serious allegations must be investigated in a timely manner once there is substantial information to require it. This has been the COP’s position since May 2010 when we came into Government. We have applied it to all public officials, including those from our own party against whom serious allegations have been made.” The Legal Affairs Minister said a prompt investigation was needed to vindicate the, “rights of all involved”.
“What we need are the facts, the truth of the situation and if there is sufficient evidence for further action against anyone, that must also be proceeded with urgently. The seriousness of this matter demands the earliest resolution,” Ramadhar said.
This week, Ramadhar, as Legal Affairs Minister, attempted to get West to meet with him on the allegations but West asserted the independence of the PCA which he said did not report to a line minister, and felt it would be inappropriate to meet with Ramadhar.
AG UNDER POLICE PROBE
He is the first Attorney General to face a criminal investigation.
And as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar flew home last night, one thing must have been on her mind—can Ramlogan, who has survived many controversies and calls for his head, continue to properly discharge the functions of his office with the cloud of a criminal probe hanging over him.
9 thoughts on “ANAND UNDER POLICE PROBE”
“The PNM is out for me since I sued to recover over $2 billion dollars from friends of the PNM such as Calder Hart, Ken Julien, Krishna Bahadorsingh and Malcolm Jones.” ~ AG Anand Ramlogan
The PNM is pulling out all stops to get the AG. Their agents in the media along with those who had issues with AG are working extra hard. The AG could not have given West the PCA position. Rowley was indeed in the better position to give West that position, so why haven’t the President revoke West position in the PCA for creating public mischief. West accusation 4 years later shows how desperate they are…
“can Ramlogan, who has survived many controversies and calls for his head, continue to properly discharge the functions of his office with the cloud of a criminal probe hanging over him.”?
The answer to that is NO! When we play games and continue to use the rules partially or only to our convenience, it sometimes work especially if the referees and linesmen allow us the favor to play the way we want to, but there comes a time when the game requires incorporated use of ALL the rules in order to pass the test and this is where he failed. Based on his successes at “winning” with the partial rules, Ramlogan gained the confidence and extra power to continue playing by “his” rules with little or no obstructions and so, the natural rule of “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, with so many “referees” on the play, he casually orchestrated the game to his advantage ignoring rules that the referees themselves have to officiate by and so when he went afoul, they had to call him out. The rule of natural law dictates that if we go to the well too many times it is very possible the bucket may fall in. Ramlogan has been so encouraged by the politics of majority rule and curry favor, that each times he breached the rules, there are those willing and able to give him a bligh or scoff at those whom he determines are his opponents. The job of attorney general is an all too important one to be left in the hands of a dirty game player. It is a serious, accommodative, consequential, responsible, accountable, professional, constitutional, reformative, corrective, legislative, informative and innovative job to be left in the hands of one who is not responsive to his countrymen and women at large and only feels that he has to please the prime minister. This is what got him into turmoil after turmoil after turmoil and trouble after trouble after trouble. It is obvious that he had several judicial and law associates personnel in “his back pocket”, so when faced with some questionable adjudicative litigations he gained favor with some of these officials. So, with all this going for him, it is no wonder he played one game too many by his rules that he had to be called out. In almost everyone of the PP government faux pas he was either a main player or instrumental in fighting off the opponents. It mattered not if his stand was immoral or illegal, he fought his game to “win” and that he did. If Kamla wants to be seen as a leader she has to show guts and gumption to relieve her party and administration of the many missteps that her leadership is accredited with. This latest incident with David West is one in which 95% of the people will go with David’s account of the story. His history is clean, honest and professional, so there is nothing now or in the past to deprive him of such commendable and trustworthy admiration. In considering his retention, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar has to ponder on his embattled history, his accusers’ sincerity, the people’s impatience with his style of performance and her future as leader of her party and of this country. If she chooses to retain him it is very likely that whatever positives she thinks she has for another term might quite likely be in jeopardy.
Please explain to me one thing. Did the AG have the ability to give West the job? The answer is NO… Case dismissed. According to the Express Telephone records, Anand (allegedly) called and offered the job to Mr. West on October 31st for inducement, according to public record West was given the news of his appointment on October 31st by the President. So is Anand the President? No. Case dismissed.
Mr. West had an issue with the AG earlier on when he was told he can’t practice and work in the FIU at full pay. Obviously Mr West was angry at being told such things and choose to get back at the AG this way. Case dismissed. Now to compensation.
Lest we forget…
Investigate John Jeremie
By Andre Bagoo Sunday, July 20 200
“Desmond Allum, the President of the Criminal Bar Association, has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Geoffrey A Henderson, calling on him to conduct an investigation into whether former Attorney General John Jeremie attempted to pervert the course of public justice or misbehaved in public office arising out of his reported involvement in the re-purchase of land at Millennium Park owned by Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls”
Of course there was no investigation.
John Jeremie in correspondence with the DPP instructed him to charge Panday. Of course Panday was charged.
Mamoo, as much as I try to ignore your inconsequential statements I feel obliged to ask the question what does Andre Bagoo Sunday July 20, 2010 reporting has to do with Anand Ramlogan? To bring that as a talking point into the conversation is nothing but a distraction. The conversation here is Ramlogan, the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago in the year 2015, not their 2000! Times have changed, circumstances have changed, leadership have changed, our understandings have changed, so please Mamoo, can we keep the conversation about Anand Ramlogan?
In my all time favoite Trini comedian- a la John Agitation – voice. ..’But aa… aa.. papi, look how de unpatriotic, Mayaro drunkard,in typical idiotic fashion, is coming out in all of his neo apologist /pro tribal glory ,trying to defend this not too closeted /un-elected criminal- AG Rammy , we desperate nationals ,are stuck with , since his Antie Kamla ,ain’t have the guts to kick him (in de you know what )out de UNC dominant PP governmental door!’
Interestingly enough,when it comes to these anti CCJ miscreant, de irony ain’t lost on us the politically astute /sophisticated, that these social bums,and power Mongrels, always love to tout the virtues/ political maturity, of more advanced democracies, as in Mama Britain.
Let’s remind them,that in their much adored England -even without a written Constitution -a minister ,would immediately resign, his/her post,at the simple smell by the media, and or cry by the public, re any malfeasance /impropriety, on their part – especially if stands to bring some semblance of embarrassment to their leader /party, or worst yet, country as a whole.
Will First Citizen bandit -Financial guru -Howai,Wade MBA Mark,and overrated, do nada AG Rammy, please go,so that your PM,can do de right thing, and call her elections?
Stay vigilant people!
Long live the Republic of T&T!
Griffith called West to find out if he had pulled back a ‘document’
Telephone records show that National Security Minister Gary Griffith contacted Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director David West on December 19, 2014.
During that conversation the Express learned that Griffith told West he was asked to find out if he (West) had “pulled back a document”.
Griffith duped into approaching West but Security head ready to testify
By Renuka Singh
January 31, 2015 – guardian.co.tt
National Security Minister Gary Griffith confided in a Cabinet colleague on Thursday he was approached by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to use his friendship with Police Complaints Authority head David West in order to confirm “if West recalled the documents” in the Section 34 defamation lawsuit against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
However, Griffith appears ready to provide statements in the ongoing police probe in the allegations against the AG to clear his name in the matter. The colleague yesterday said Griffith had informed them he was not aware of exactly what the “documents” in questions were but was just delivering a message on Ramlogan’s behalf when he approached West in the matter. It was only later on that Griffith in fact realised it was the Section 34 lawsuit.
“It was only when he (Griffith) contacted West that he was told to leave that situation alone because the matter was before the court that he realised what was going on,” Griffith;s colleague told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
Ramlogan had initially denied media reports he had contacted West before his appointment to the PCA, asking him to withdraw his witness statement in a defamation lawsuit relating to the failed extradition involving Section 34 applicants Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh in exchange for him being selected for the PCA job. But West on Thursday refuted Ramlogan’s denial, saying his recollection of the events were “diametrically opposed” to the Attorney General’s.
West was also reported to have delivered a statement to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but the T&T Guardian has learnt that while a detailed, signed report was delivered to the acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, nothing has been delivered to the DPP yet.
The T&T Guardian was informed that the timeline of the alleged discussions between Ramlogan, Griffith and West was the crux of the growing discord between the three, as Griffith has informed his colleagues that he was only passing a message on to West.
When contacted yesterday, Griffith said he was not speaking on the matter. “I have to be careful because the matter is before the court but I can say that I am in no way implicated,” Griffith said. The T&T Guardian also learned that Griffith was refusing to back down or be cowed by his Cabinet colleagues. When asked how that was affecting the climate inside Cabinet, the insider said: “Griffith not too worried about that.
“He does not intend to retract or back down or not make that witness statement because his Cabinet colleagues are trying to get him to back down.” Griffith, the T&T Guardian learned, was “willing and ready to testify.” Meanwhile, West himself yesterday said he hoped the matter would be investigated swiftly and said he stood ready to play his part in the investigation.
West, who was in Tobago for a meeting in Plymouth, also dispelled the AG’s claim that there was a political conspiracy against him saying: “I don’t agree with his words. I gave a statement to the commissioner of Police and that statement will be investigated by the Deputy Commissioner of Police.”
More questions than answers
January 31, 2015
DIRECTOR of the Police Complaints Authority David West yesterday left questions over his conduct and his post unanswered.
When contacted by phone and asked whether he will resign his post in light of his role as a witness on behalf of PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley in a lawsuit against Rowley by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and in light of his role in a police probe over Ramlogan, West said, “The matter is being investigated let’s see where it leads to.”
In reply to further questions, West said, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” The line then went dead.
Several questions have been left unanswered by West, including why it took so long to report his complaint to the police; does it relate to a claim that he had been asked to withdraw a witness statement in exchange for the post of director of the Police Complaints Authority and, if so, why did he accept the post.
Also, Ramlogan and the Office of the President did not immediately respond to calls and messages.
The PCA is a highly politicized office and the director should resign or the President immediately revoke his resignation. He is suppose to be politically neutral, this office is no longer independent. Why?
When Rowley spoke to the President did he made it clear that West was supporting him in a matter against the AG? That is important because the position of PCA meant that all political interaction must be above board. I call on Carmo to do the right thing and appoint another PCA director immediately.
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