Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan became the first Attorney General in the history of Trinidad and Tobago to be accused of witness tampering. He was accused of offering David West Directorship of the Police Complaint Authority, if he (West) withdrew a witness statement filed in a defamation lawsuit involving the Attorney General and Opposition Leader at the time, Dr. Keith Rowley.
In January 2017, Police contacted several former Peoples’ Partnership ministers for interviews and met with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in their probe of witness -tampering allegations made against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan by Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director David West.
The “witness-tampering” investigation, was instituted by Acting Police Commissioner at the time, Stephen Williams in January 2015. This, after West’s allegation, made at the time, against Ramlogan of an “attempt to pervert the course of justice”.
West alleged that Ramlogan “asked” him to withdraw as a witness in a matter involving then opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley. Ramlogan strongly denied this. Less than a week after the issue broke in 2015, former PP prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar revoked the appointments of Ramlogan as well as then National Security Minister Gary Griffith. Griffith gave a statement supporting West’s claim. It was alleged that Griffith, on Ramlogan’s advice, telephoned West to query whether West had withdrawn his statement.
Since the 2015 probe started, at least six former PP ministers were contacted by police. Some former ministers and other people have been interviewed more than once.
At the start of the probe, Griffith gave several statements to police and was interviewed.
Griffith had also alleged he was “pressured” by Cabinet colleagues, including Vasant Bharath, not to support West’s complaint.
Bharath and others categorically denied this.
Since the start of 2017, several other ex-PP ministers were contacted.
This included Bharath, ex-minister Ramadhar, former Minister Suruj Rambachan and UNC MP Roodal Moonilal .
These were the series of events…
•Ramlogan denied allegations that he asked West to withdraw his (West’s) witness statement in a defamation lawsuit Ramlogan had against then opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley.
• The lawsuit concerned comments about the controversial Section 34 issue and extradition proceedings involving businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson.
• It was alleged Ramlogan “promised” West he would be appointed PCA director if he withdrew from the defamation matter.
• Ramlogan reportedly said he’d only become aware of West filing a witness statement in the matter when it was given to his attorneys in December 2014.
•West said his recollection of what transpired was “diametrically opposed to” Ramlogan’s denial that he ever approached him.
•West said he reported the matter to the Police Commissioner.
•Then legal affairs minister Prakash Ramadhar attempted to speak with West on the allegations.
•West said the PCA was an independent body, didn’t report to a minister, and it would have been inappropriate to meet Ramadhar.
• Within a week of the issue, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar sought the resignations of both Ramlogan and Gary Griffith.
• She said it was alleged Griffith, on Ramlogan’s advice, telephoned West to query whether West had withdrawn a statement, the alleged incident forms part of the police enquiry and Griffith confirmed he made the call.
• Persad-Bissessar said she’d read the statements from both as well as West’s reported statements and found facts conflicted.
• She expressed concern about West (for a “compromised” PCA post resulting from the situation) and then opposition leader Rowley (for not reporting the claims when consultation on West’s nomination for PCA head arose).
On August 29th 2017, Anand Ramlogan was arrested at his home in Palmiste on the grounds of misbehavior in public office and perverting the course of justice.
Ramlogan was granted bail in the sum of $750,000 covering both charges.