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Cops to question 3 ministers

...in West/Ramlogan witness-tampering matter
Published: 
Sunday, February 22, 2015

Three senior government ministers are expected to be interviewed by police this week or early next week as investigations into allegations of witness tampering levelled against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan by Police Complaints Authority Director David West continue. 

The Sunday Guardian was informed that the three ministers, all of whom are MPs, will be interviewed as investigators ramp up their inquiries now that the distraction of carnival revelry has passed. The Sunday Guardian understands that the police investigation into the witness-tampering allegations against Ramlogan has been expanded to include the allegation levelled against the three senior Cabinet ministers. The investigation is being headed by acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Harold Phillip.

It is alleged that last year Ramlogan, then AG, sought to have West withdraw a witness statement he gave against him in a defamation lawsuit that he (Ramlogan) had filed against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. The allegations stem from an alleged phone conversation between Ramlogan and West, during which it is alleged that the former AG offered West the PCA directorship in exchange for the withdrawal of the statement. 

Former national security minister Gary Griffith also became embroiled in the controversy, claiming that Ramlogan had asked him to speak with West to find out if he had withdrawn the statement. Ramlogan has vehemently denied the allegations. Griffith has accused a senior member of Cabinet of attempting to pressure him into withdrawing his statement in the matter. He claimed that the minister made certain statements in the presence of two other Cabinet members. 

Both Ramlogan and Griffith were dismissed on February 2 when Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced sweeping changes to her Cabinet. While police sources remained tight-lipped about the investigation, they confirmed that Griffith’s allegations were also being actively pursued. Griffith has been interviewed by the police and is said to be “co-operating” with investigators as they continue their inquiries into the allegations. 

Since the investigation has been expanded, police sources said, it would take investigators more time than expected to complete. Investigators will have to complete all inquiries surrounding the main allegation of witness tampering levelled against Ramlogan before the former AG is interviewed, the Sunday Guardian was informed. 

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