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Sunday 25 August 2019
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Israel Khan: DPP, police must probe Rowley

Israel Khan
Israel Khan

SENIOR counsel Israel Khan yesterday urged the DPP and police to probe the Prime Minister for possible conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over his role in the E-mailgate affair, which had allegedly helped him into government.

Khan held a briefing at his Port of Spain chambers, after the police had earlier dismissed the veracity of e-mails brandished in Parliament in 2013 by Dr Rowley which alleged a conspiracy by People’s Partnership ministers. He has acted as Persad-Bissessar's attorney in the past.

Khan said, “These false allegations brought the (PP) government down. This is the first time in the history of the Commonwealth that such a political fraud was perpetrated on the public.”

He said the DPP must ask the police to see if Rowley had “conspired with persons known or unknown to pervert the course of public justice.” Khan said one can be guilty of such an offence by way of being “grossly negligent.”

Khan also hit a former official in the DPP’s office for allegedly holding the E-mailgate file for up to five years without revealing it contained nothing substantive, even after such an assertion by ACP Hackett.

Khan also urged retired Justice Sebastian Ventour to step down from the commission of enquiry (CoE) into the Point Fortin Highway land acquisition. Khan said a fair-minded observer might reason Ventour may hold a subconscious bias against Persad-Bissessar in view of his past resignation from the Integrity Commission in protest at it concluding its E-mailgate probe into her and others.

Khan urged Rowley to apologise over E-mailgate and move on.

He accused Rowley of a “political hoax” because anyone could have seen the e-mails had been typewritten, but rather than be responsible and check on it, he had not done so for reasons of political expediency.

Khan said the DPP’s office had ignored both his remarks that the e-mails were fake and his challenge to charge Persad-Bissessar if evidence existed.

“We would have gone into another (2020) election with E-mailgate hanging over our heads but for that man Gary Griffith, also accused of conspiring to murder in that E-mailgate.

“The ordinary man on the street had sense to know that if he was really conspiring to do this, Prime Minister Rowley would not have endorsed his appointment as Commissioner of Police.”

He said if the PM had belatedly found out E-mailgate was "bogus," at that time he should have said something.

Khan asked how could the PM have taken the e-mails to Parliament after the successive inaction by the President, Integrity Commission and police.

“It didn’t pass through your head that they did nothing because it was bogus? Apologise to the then prime minister and move on with the country’s affairs.”

Khan said he would advise Persad-Bissessar to sue over E-mailgate and file for judicial review over Ventour’s chairing the highway CoE.

Asked if CoEs create outcomes worth their cost, Khan told Newsday, “They don’t implement anything. I sat on the Uff Commission. Nothing came of it.”

He said he had no fear of speaking out as his children were grown and his mortgage paid off.

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