Lawyers want emailgate probe to move faster
PORT OF SPAIN — Lawyers acting on behalf of three Government officials in the emailgate probe say they are getting no cooperation, no instructions and no requests from the police as they seek to push the investigation forward.
This from attorney for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Israel Khan, SC, who yesterday said the lawyers were stumped in moving their clients’ case forward.
Legal and technical protocols demanded by Government legal advisers have not yet been put in place to facilitate the hand-over of private electronic equipment belonging to Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Minister of Local Government and Works Suruj Rambachan.
Khan, Persad-Bissessar’s lawyer, has collaborated with attorneys Pamela Elder, SC, and Larry Lalla — legal representatives for Ramlogan and Rambachan — and issued a letter to lead investigator Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson to work out a set of acceptable protocols.
In the letter dated July 5, Khan stipulated that the protocols must allow their joint clients to “be provided with clones of the said devices immediately upon hand-over”.
This means that the three under investigation are asking that copies of the cloning of all the information be provided to them so that nothing could be added that was not there before.
Another of the protocols calls for the “devices be examined by a foreign certified forensic computer examiner (the computer analyst) agreed to by our clients and the police; the computer analyst’s search of the said devices should be limited to answering the specific question, were any of the said devices used to send or receive the purported e-mails revealed in the Parliament by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition on Friday, May 17, 2013; and the said devices be immediately returned to our clients if the above question is answered in the negative”.
Lalla confirmed a response was received from Richardson yesterday, but would not reveal what was in that letter.
“We have not reached an agreed-upon position,” Lalla said in a telephone interview.
“We are continuing correspondence but there has been no change to the protocols to date,” he said.
Lalla said the lawyers were in the process of responding to Richardson.
On June 25, Khan accompanied Persad-Bissessar to Police Headquarters in Port of Spain with her electronic equipment. Despite an almost-three-hour meeting then, no device was handed over because of the lack of proper protocol to receive and preserve the integrity of the systems. Lalla also cited the same lack of protocols as the reason he did not hand over his clients’ systems on that same day.
Since then, there have been several calls by Khan for the investigation to accelerate and other statements by Richardson that he needed more cooperation to do so. (Express)