Khan: They’re out of place
By NALINEE SEELAL Thursday, January 16 2014
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Attorney Israel Khan sc ...
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s attorney, in the email scandal, Israel Khan SC has described the Integrity Commission as being “out of place” to forward letters to him requesting information as the commission continues its probe of the scandal.
The Commission wrote Khan, who is also counsel for Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal in the email scandal, a month ago and wrote a second time a week ago asking for details to assist them in their probe.
“I find that personally insulting and as a matter of fact the Integrity Commission is out of place on the basis of the bogus information they have, to ask my clients to provide information,” an irate Khan told Newsday yesterday.
He said the commission is asking him, the Prime Minister and other clients of his, to provide the same information which the police wanted. “The commission is in no position to ask us to supply anything on the basis of false emails. In any event, there is no reasonable and probable grounds to suspect that my client committed any criminal offence,” Khan said.
He noted what the commission is inadvertently saying to him is, “our clients are presumed guilty and they are giving us an opportunity to clear our clients’ names.” Khan also said he wrote now retired Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson informing him that his clients were willing to waive confidentiality rights so Google could provide to police, information regarding emails authored and/or received by his clients within specific dates, but never got a reply.
For his part, Richardson made it clear to Newsday yesterday that he wrote Google International twice last year at the time he headed the police probe into the email scandal as alleged in the House of Representatives by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Richardson said he received responses from Google but did not receive information which he requested. He said all of this is contained in a file which he handed over to Assistant Commissioner of Police Glen Hackett upon his official retirement from the Police Service.
Richardson said he did not wish to say anything further on the matter since there is an ongoing police investigation. He added that what he has said about writing to Google, can be verified by Hackett who is in possession of the file.
Sources yesterday said investigators plan to approach a High Court judge soon in a bid to get Google to preserve whatever information they have to assist in the probe. The Central Authority will then get involved to make out a case as to why Google should release the information required by police investigators.
Last May 20, Rowley alleged in Parliament that there was a thread of emails linking Government officials including the Prime Minister to several serious crimes including a plot to murder. Inspector Wayne Mystar, spokesman for the TT Police Service, yesterday said investigators are working with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the case.
“My information is that Google was engaged, however Google operates within certain legal parameters and we are working assiduously with the team from the DPP’s department to satisfy those requirements and we expect full co-operation in the near future,” Mystar told reporters at a police briefing, Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain. He said the police investigates all matters to the highest level of transparency.