Trinidad Integrity Commission terminates investigation into PM and parliament

PMKamlaPersad-BissessarE-fPort of Spain, Trinidad — The registrar of the Integrity Commission in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday indicated that that there are no or insufficient grounds for continuing its investigation into the so-called ‘emailgate’ allegations and accordingly the investigation has been terminated.

In a letter to attorney-at-law Israel Khan SC, in his capacity as attorney for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, captioned “Investigation into alleged ‘Email affair’ the Integrity Commission, the registrar stated:

“… the Commission, pursuant to section 34(6) of the Act is satisfied that there are no or insufficient grounds for continuing the investigation into the above matter and accordingly this investigation is hereby terminated.”

Persad-Bissessar described the Integrity Commission’s ruling as “a major victory” that effectively clears her and the Parliament of any impropriety with respect to the “fake email” allegations by opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley.

The prime minister said, “This is a major victory for the Office of the Prime Minister and the sovereignty of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. I am pleased the finding of the Integrity Commission has vindicated me. Of course I always knew that I had acted appropriately.”

“Now we can move on to the real issue here. That is the opposition leader’s arrogant actions in misleading the Parliament and impugning members of the government,” she continued.

Persad-Bissessar said: “If he will do this to Office of the PM, what would he do to those less able to defend themselves? If elected, whom would he bully and harass?”

“Now that the [Integrity Commission] has pronounced and concluded their investigations, the country must move on to the real issues facing us and resolve to deal with the challenges that face us at this time.

“The opposition leader’s leadership is again called into question and once again it shows that he is unfit to lead our country,” she added.

On May 6, 2015, Rowley was censured and suspended from parliament following a motion moved by leader of government business Dr Roodal Moonilal, which stated he produced false information to the House when he brought some 31 emails to Parliament two years ago.

During the debate on the motion, the prime minister said a wheel of conspiracy was plotted against her government using fake emails, which she condemned Rowley for bringing to Parliament.

Persad-Bissessar said the opposition leader abused the privilege of the House because while he was entitled to freedom of speech, that freedom must be regulated and should have a foundation of evidence.

She went through some of the correspondence contained in the string of emails, saying there were elements of fact that were twisted into a wheel of conspiracy to make grave allegations against her and members of her government.

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