The raid at Newsday’s office took place shortly before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications issued a release which said President George Maxwell Richards had appointed a tribunal in accordance with Section 136 of the Constitution to inquire into complaints made against Gafoor by an unnamed member of the Commission.
Contacted at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s where the weekly Cabinet meeting was taking place, Ramlogan said he was alarmed that attempts were being made to link the raid with his office, “The ACIB does not report to the Attorney General. The Attorney General is merely the administrative conduit in the same way that he is for the Judiciary or the Director of Public Prosecutions,” Ramlogan said.
Ramlogan said the ACIB operates in a totally independent manner in accordance with an operational chain of command that is headed by the Commissioner of Police and the head of the ACIB. “I therefore have no knowledge about this investigation.”
When Newsday raised the issue of the raid at the post-Cabinet news conference which was held at the Diplomatic Centre, Foreign Affairs and Communications Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan declared, “This Government will always uphold press freedom. We have said that over and over and we are committed to upholding press freedom.”
After Newsday told Rambachan about the sequence of yesterday’s events which saw the team of ACIB officers first coming to its offices and then going later to Bagoo’s home, Rambachan said, “The Government will always stand on that platform of freedom of the press and the right of the press to report in a fair manner and in a just manner.” He said the other government ministers at the briefing (Dr Bhoe Tewarie and Kevin Ramnarine) were unaware of all of these events.