PORT OF SPAIN – The e-mails are fake.
Based on the documents before him, this statement has come from acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams on the 31 e-mails read by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley into the Hansard in Parliament on May 20.
“Those documents are purporting to be e-mails but they are not. They are fake,” he told the Express in an exclusive interview at Police Administration building in Port of Spain last Friday.
Pressed to explain this point, maintained that the e-mails were not authentic.
The authenticity of the e-mails and their content have been the subject of political posturing by the highest office-holders – Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Rowley.
And other top office-holders have also been dragged into the “emailgate” probe, including chairman of the Integrity Commission Ken Gordon, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard and Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
Even the top cop’s ability and that of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to properly investigate the matter have been the subject of public debate amidst the 46-day-old police probe.
The e-mails’ authenticity was only one facet of the police investigation.
While their authenticity was dismissed by Williams, their content – an alleged plot to cover up the Section 34 debacle; an attempt to bribe the DPP by using the Chief Justice to offer him the post of High Court judge; and an attempt to intimidate a reporter working on the Section 34 fall-out – was not.
“But do those documents read by the Opposition Leader represent the content of e-mails or exchanges? That is what the police is looking into,” he noted.
The Express understands that the e-mails, in part, represent intercepted conversations between individuals involved in emailgate.
Williams chose not to comment on whether Rowley’s document could be intercepted information.
For now, he said, emailgate is not a criminal investigation, only a probe.
“There is no established criminal offence. A probe into the content of the e-mails should help us determine what offences, if any, were committed. If there was an offence, no probe would have been necessary and the police would have acted,” he explained.
In his view, the only legal authority to have conducted such a probe was the Police Service and not the Integrity Commission. He noted that very often the Integrity Commission refers matters to the TTPS for investigation. He further dismissed the suggestion that any foreign entity could have conducted an independent investigation on emailgate without the TTPS.
“That suggestion is so foolish and it’s coming from people who are supposed to be intelligent. I repeat, the only legal authority to investigate this matter is the TTPS,” said Williams.
Questioned on whether there could be a perceived conflict of interest in him investigating the prime minister and the attorney general given that he sits in on meetings of the National Security Council with them, Williams said he was not a member of the NSC. (Express)