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Friday 13 December 2019
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AG stands by Rowley’s action

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi

ATTORNEY GENERAL Faris Al-Rawi supported the Prime Minister’s stance in the E-mailgate affair, saying neither of them needed to resign over police remarks that insufficient proof existed to back Dr Rowley’s claim that UNC ministers had wanted to silence a journalist.

The AG held a briefing last night at his ministry, giving the findings of a six-page letter from Deputy DPP Joan Honore-Paul to Deputy Police Commissioner Harold Phillip dated July 5.

He said the DPP's Office had not exculpated or cleared anyone.

“The authenticity of the 31 subject e-mails can neither be confirmed nor denied,” he said reading her conclusion.

“However evidence gathered supported the fact that several of the events referred to in those e-mails can be confirmed as having actually occurred in the way and at the time referred to in the e-mails.” The AG said that assertion was backed by a US judge's decision that initial evidence was sufficient for him to grant warrants to search the servers of Google and Microsoft.

He further read, “Notwithstanding the apparent form and structure of the purported e-mails themselves, their content when matched against evidence of prevailing circumstances in TT in September 2012, was sufficient to reach the standard of probable cause.”

Newsday asked the AG what was the evidence and circumstances, to which he said that was traversed in the DPP’s long letter.

Al-Rawi listed factors that may have limited the evidence coming out of the probe into the e-mail servers. He said the search of e-mails had been limited to one month (September 2012), the examination into servers was done in June 2013 or some nine months after the alleged date of sending, and it was possible for account holders to have deleted any e-mails.

“The DPP’s letter clearly demonstrates there was evidence that confirmed the circumstances discussed in the e-mail. What was missing was whether there was an e-mail that looked something like that.”

The AG said only Gary Griffith, now Police Commissioner, had surrendered his electronic device during the probe and he asked why others had not likewise sought to clear their names. He said a meeting between police and politicians’ representatives to discuss a handover of devices had been aborted.

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