“I want to say that it is a total fabrication, as far as they (the emails) implicate my name,” Persad- Bissessar said at the Noor Hassanali Room, Office of the Parliament, Tower D in Port-of-Spain.
Persad-Bissessar added that she has also been advised, that emails purportedly from Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and her security adviser Gary Griffith, “are also fabrications.”
Persad-Bissessar said that these emails have come within weeks of a person from the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) trying to forge her signature on a letter regarding the award of contracts.
According to the PM, the letter she wrote the Commissioner, stated: “Today, Monday 20 May, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition (Dr Keith Rowley) shared with the Government, correspondence which he stated came into his possession several months ago. “The correspondence purporting to be email exchanges between Government office holders allege serious criminal conduct. I hereby request that you cause an investigation into these very serious allegations and ascertain the authenticity of those emails and take such action as is required according to the laws of Trinidad and Tobago.” She also attached the email documents to the Commissioner.
Given the serious nature of the allegations, Persad-Bissessar told the media she was surprised that Rowley would have had them in his possession for six months, “yet did not see it fit to pass it on to the Commissioner of Police, which is where they should have gone as the activities seem to have been pointing to criminal activity.” Persad-Bissessar said it was beyond her thinking as to the reasons behind Rowley’s decision to keep these email to himself for six months, not seeing it fit to immediately pass same onto the police.
Noting Rowley’s claim of taking the emails to the then President, six months ago, Persad-Bissessar said that during exchanges she had with former President George Maxwell Richards and incumbent President Anthony Carmona, the issue of emails was never raised with her by either Richards or Carmona. Acknowledging that the email firstname.lastname@example.org is hers, one she has used before she became Prime Minister and which she continues to use receiving some 4,000 emails a week, Persad-Bissessar said she is not aware her email had been hacked into.
She said anyone can create an e-mail address using her name or any other person’s name. Reading some of the words, allegedly written by her, Persad-Biseesar said she does not use such words. She added that she has never communicated with the Attorney General via an email: email@example.com. “I have searched my computer and I have found none,” she said. “This was a great con job in my respectful view,” Persad-Bissessar said.
Asked whether Rowley could be in breached of Standing Order, by making such claims during his no-confidence motion yesterday, Persad-Bissesar said if there is a breach it may relating to contempt of the House with respect to misleading it. Persad-Bissessar said she was saddened that the man who portrays himself as a credible alternative as prime minister would come to Parliament relying on fabricated emails, as the basis of his no confidence motion.
Last night, PNM public relations officer Senator Faris al Rawi alleged that the email account of Arouca/Maloney MP Alicia Hospedales had been hacked, during yesterday’s sitting of the House. An email circulated yesterday afternoon — reportedly from Hospedales to Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert (the latter who is overseas and was excused from yesterday’s debate) — rubbished the PNM’s no-confidence motion. The sender claimed the “faked emails” on the Government Ministers worked, with a reply supposedly from Imbert stating he had warned Rowley that the no-confidence tactic would “backfire”.
A disclaimer at the end said it was a fake email to show how easy it is to fabricate an email.