ATTORNEY Larry Lalla says the person who fabricated the documents in the ‘emailgate’ scandal is guilty of sedition.
Lalla was speaking on Wednesday evening at the United National Congress (UNC) Pavement Report at the Rio Claro Presbyterian School.
He said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley committed the greatest fraud on the people of this country in its 57-year history.
Lalla said Parliament was a sacred place where members had privilege but were trusted to speak the truth.
He said, “We believe that Rowley presented the fabricated emails knowing they were fabrications.
“How can I say this? Because he kept them for six months in his possession before he did anything with them. Before he told anyone about them.
“If he believed the emails were genuine, they having contained an alleged plot to kill a reporter, he would have gone to the police with it, immediately. He didn’t do that. He waited six months.
“Also, up to now he has not told us where he got them. If he believed they were genuine he would have supplied the police with the name of the person who gave them to him, and set him up.
“He has not done that. And we don’t believe this nonsense that he got it in his mailbox.
“In this country we seem to have very dangerous, conniving and even seditious mailboxes.
“Because the maker of those fabricated emails is guilty of sedition.
“Do you believe Rowley would allow someone to set him up and get away with it? Rowley was not set up. The question is who is he protecting and why?
“Also why appoint Gary (Griffith) as Commissioner (of Police) long before the end of the investigation, if you believed the emails were true?
“Also he has not to this date apologise, to the country for the trauma that he caused.
“I am sure you all remember how traumatic, the revelation of those fake emails were to you. How betrayed you felt as members of the national community. How betrayed you felt when he ‘buss the mark’ in parliament.
“If he was a genuine patriot, if he had a modicum of decency, if he was really interested in getting the whole country behind him, to create this new society he is speaking about, he would have apologised to you and say he was set up and he was sorry for what happened.
“But to date he has not! He has not shown contrition. The conclusion to be drawn is that the lust for power is greater than any genuine effort to create a new society.
“So because of ‘emailgate’, because of his betrayal of the sacred trust we as citizens place in him, to speak the truth in parliament, we cannot believe him.
“And he did it again. He said that he was not closing down Petrotrin. When he said that hundreds of families, husbands, wives, parents, children, businessmen, workers, trade unionists – all hung on his words and breathed a sigh of relief and believed him.”
In July, police closed the ‘emailgate’ investigation saying that there was not sufficient evidence for charges to be laid against anyone.
This probe came about after Dr Keith Rowley as Opposition Leader read in Parliament a thread of 31 emails purporting striking similarities to the email accounts of then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, then attorney general Anand Ramlogan, then national security advisor and current Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and then government minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan.
The emails focused on a number of issues, namely an article in the Guardian newspaper by investigative reporter Denyse Renne on the proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Offence) Amendment Act on August 31, 2012; a conspiracy to murder Renne, the removal of Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard from office and other illegal acts.
The proclamation of Section 34 caused public outrage and demonstrations as it was viewed as benefitting United National Congress financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson who were charged for a number offences arising out of the construction of the Piarco International Airport.
Section 34 provided an escape clause for people who were before the courts on serious charges including fraud and had not had a determination in their cases after ten years to apply to have it dismissed. Galbaransingh and Ferguson fell in this category.
Bowing to public pressure, the Persad-Bissessar Government repealed the law in an emergency Parliamentary session in September 2013.
The former high court judge and then justice minister Herbert Volney who had introduced the legislation was fired in the affair.
In May 2015, the Integrity Commission closed a parallel investigation into ‘emailgate’ citing “insufficient grounds” to pursue the probe. This caused the sudden resignation of deputy’s chairman of the Integrity Commission Sebastien Ventour and fellow commissioner Shelly-Anne Lalchan.
Then acting commissioner of police Stephen Williams sent the file to the DPP in 2015 after the police completed their investigations.