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Abdulah on Flying Squad claim: Warner must go if reports true
Leader of the Movement for Social Justice David Abdulah is calling for an immediate investigation into the existence of a “reconstituted” Flying Squad, saying if such a squad existed National Security Minister Jack Warner must be fired. Speaking to reporters at Paramount Building, San Fernando, on Tuesday, Abdulah said paramilitary organisations like the Flying Squad would undermine democracy and the justice system.
He added: “This allegation of a Flying Squad requires a serious and immediate investigation because we cannot have mongoose gang operations in the country being set up on the say-so of a minister, whether officially or informally, because that destroys the system of justice in the country and will contribute to the breakdown of law and order.
“This will also contribute to loss of morale in the Police Service and Defence Force. We are disturbed about this and if there is any truth whatsoever that this group is reconstituted and Mr Warner had anything to do with that, then it is just another reason why he has to be removed immediately from the position of Minister of National Security.”
He noted when Warner first became minister, he supervised members of the Defence Force as they broke down the camp of the Highway Re-route Movement and that was an abuse of power because Warner had no authority to do so by law. “One has to have a level-headed person as the head of the Ministry of National Security because other than that, you could get the possibility of the abuse of power and the manipulation of institutions, which could be very bad for democracy and governance,” Abdulah said.
He said it also became apparent that Warner was allegedly using national security apparatus to intimidate citizens when he made a public comment last year that he knew where a media worker lived and came from. Abdulah also knocked what he described as Warner’s attempt to undermine T&T’s sovereignty by asking the US to patrol T&T’s waters without getting Cabinet approval, saying it was yet another reason why he should be fired.
On the issue of the presidential appointment, Abdulah said there must be focus on the qualities of the candidate. He said: “This is an important issue as the President is not just a rubber stamp or a ceremonial office-holder. “The President has executive powers in his or her own right to make appointments to the Chief Justice, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, Integrity Commission, the Ombudsman and independent Senators.
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