AG doesn’t trust the police

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan

PORT OF SPAIN — Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is confident a compromise will be reached with police to allow for his cellphone and other electronic devices to be handed over soon to investigate the Section 34 e-mail matter. But he is insisting that only an international IT expert will be allowed to look at them because he is not confident the police will ensure the information remains confidential.

In fact, he fears his confidential information might be leaked and used against him on a People’s National Movement platform. Ramlogan said so in response to questions from reporters during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Prime Minister’s office in St Clair.

“In the current climate there are current international best practices, protocols and procedures that must be followed in circumstances such as these,” he said.

He said his lawyer Pamela Elder, SC, had refused to hand over his devices on Tuesday because the proper arrangements were not in place for their safety and integrity. Once proper arrangements were put in place, the devices would be handed over, he said. But he insisted no local investigator will be allowed to look at the devices.

“I have no difficulty [with] an international IT expert whose credibility and reputation are beyond reproach and question going through my stuff,” Ramlogan said.

“The agreement is, that is the only person that can go through the equipment. I have no difficulty with that, but I have a serious problem with anybody else going through your business that contains anything and everything.”

Ramlogan said his reason for adopting that stance was obvious.

“We are all human beings and we have a private life, a personal life, but more than that, we have a professional life as a government minister. I am the AG of the country, I sit on the National Security Council.”

During the 2011 state of emergency, he said, he went on national television and invited citizens to e-mail and inbox him on Facebook their suggestions to fight crime.

“A lot of that intelligence was presented by ordinary citizens and the spectrum is very wide — including inside the police service, outside the police service, drug blocks, et cetera.”

Ramlogan said he had “to be very careful in my dealings with other countries, other international law-enforcement agencies, that the sanctity and confidentiality of those communications are not unwittingly compromised”.

He said he had a responsibility to ensure the identity and content of correspondence from those people were protected.

He insisted: “If the Police Service selects an international IT expert whose reputation, credentials and credibility are beyond question, I will give them all the devices.” (Guardian)

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