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Pres meets Hosein, other IC members

Sunday, May 24, 2015
President Anthony Carmona

President Anthony Carmona has met with Integrity Commission chairman Zainool Hosein over the controversy surrounding the commission’s closure of its Emailgate probe and the subsequent resignation of two commissioners.

The meeting was held even as calls for the dismissal of the remaining members of the Integrity Commission—Hosein, Pete London and Deonarine Jaggernauth—mounted. 

Yesterday, information specialist at President’s House Theron Boodan confirmed that Carmona and Hosein met for nearly two hours at the Office of the President, Port-of-Spain.

He was, however, unable to divulge what the two men discussed in the meeting which began around 10.30 am. 

It seems likely that Carmona and Hosein’s discussions centred around the ongoing furore over the commission’s statement on Tuesday which indicated that there was “no or insufficient evidence” to continue the probe, thus closing the IC investigation into the allegations levelled by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. 

The discussions would likely have included concerns over the subsequent resignations of deputy chairman Sebastian Ventour and Dr Shelley-Anne Lalchan.

Lalchan was the first to resign, citing personal reasons for her departure. 

Sunday Guardian understands that on Wednesday Carmona met with Lalchan after having received her resignation letter. 

Following Ventour’s resignation and his public condemnation of the IC and its statement on Emailgate on Thursday, sources said Carmona met with London and Jaggernauth separately at his office on Friday.

Given the legislation governing the commission, Carmona cannot ask nor can the commissioners say what was discussed in their meeting prior to the issuing of the release.

However, the President met with the men to ascertain their position as it relates to the probe and the events thereafter. 

He also met with Ventour, sources said, after speaking with London and Jaggernauth. 

The President spent a total of five hours meeting with all three members separately. 

Carmona is expected to meet with the three remaining commissioners early this week to ascertain their positions with respect to continuing at the IC.

He is expected to issue a statement on the matter following that meeting. 

The president’s meetings with the commissioners were necessary for him to hear all parties involved before making an official statement. 

The Sunday Guardian learnt that the issue of quashing the IC does not arise at this stage for the President, as he is still gathering information.


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