|DPP clears PM, AG of wrongdoing |
By Jada Loutoo Monday, June 9 2014
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan have been cleared by Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, of any wrongdoing in the Dhansam Dhansook debacle.
In a letter signed by Gaspard, dated May 16, three days after a question on the issue was listed on the Senate’s Order paper for answer by the Attorney General, the DPP indicated, “The completed police investigation into the allegation of a Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Public Justice, involving but not limited to the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Attorney General and a journalist, has categorically revealed that the allegation was unsubstantiated, uncorroborated and did not emanate from a credible source.”
The Senate Question, listed on the Order Paper under the name of Opposition Senator Camille Robinson-Regis, was deferred for one week. Ramlogan is yet to answer the question.
According to the question listed on the Order Paper: Question No. 76 to the Honourable Attorney General (By Senator Camille Robinson-Regis)
A. Would the Attorney General indicate the status of the police investigation, into the alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of Public Justice, arising out of revelations, by one Dhansam Dhansook, that the said Dhansam Dhansook made false allegations against two former ministers of government and following which, the Director of Public Prosecutions referred the said matter to the police for its attention and investigation;
B. Is/are any other agency(ies) of the State conducting this/these investigation(s);
C. When are these investigations expected to be concluded;
D. Based on the current status of these investigations, are criminal charges a probable result?
Ramlogan, in an attempt to have the questions answered wrote to Gaspard, seeking information.
In Gaspard’s reponse, the also noted that the TT Police Service was the only agency of the State that he knew of, which had been charged with conducting the investigation.
“I am instructed that criminal charges have since been preferred against the maker of the subject allegation, his having allegedly implicated himself,” Gaspard wrote. In April, last year, Dhansook appeared in the magistrate’s court, charged with 13 offences of perverting the course of public justice. The charges against Dhansook were that on dates between April 30, 2005, and May 20, 2010, he gave false evidence at the San Fernando and Port-of- Spain Magistrates’ Courts against PNM chairman Franklin Khan and former PNM minister Eric Williams.
Dhansook is charged with committing a series of acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of justice when he gave false statements and false evidence in which he alleged he paid Khan, then minister of works and transport, and Williams, then minister of energy, as a reward for securing contracts for him (Dhansook) for labour, security and transportation with Terra Sais International of Canada.
In January 2008, Senior Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan dismissed the charges against Williams after she ruled Dhansook’s evidence was “unbelievable, tenuous, and vague”.
And in September 2010, DPP Gaspard withdrew charges against Khan.
Prior to the withdrawal of the charges against Khan, the Fraud Squad began investigations of an alleged blackmail attempt against Ramlogan by Dhansook, based on letters the latter wrote in which he made certain threats to “reveal” information relating to Khan’s case which at the time was still before the courts.
In one letter, dated July 15, Dhansook allegedly wrote the AG that his revelations would “cause you (AG Ramlogan) embarrassment” and “let you know that you (allegedly) used me (Dhansook) to do a hatchet job.”
Dhansook claimed his allegations against Khan and Williams were “misrepresented” and “fabricated” by Ramlogan.
He also said it was Ramlogan who allegedly gave Persad-Bissessar the letter to read in Parliament and, therefore, “misled” the Parliament.
Ramlogan forwarded the letter and subsequent letters from Dhansook to Gaspard.
In February, 2004, Dhansook, then the PNM councillor for Ecclesville, Rio Claro, had alleged in a letter to then Prime Minister Patrick Manning that former ministers Khan and energy minister Eric Williams had accepted bribes from him in exchange for lucrative contracts.
In April 2005, then Opposition UNC MP and now Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar read out the letter in Parliament and by January 2006, both Khan and Williams were separately charged for various acts of alleged corruption.
Khan has filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the State and Dhansook which is still before the High Court.