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Crichlow on Phillip’s complaints: Matter sent to DPP after issues came up
Mervyn Crichlow, chief communications and public relations officer at the Integrity Commission, yesterday confirmed the body had referred some of its findings on complaints filed by Ricardo Phillip against the T&T Boxing Board of Control to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further investigation. Crichlow said while the commission was investigating Phillip’s complaints, “there were certain issues which cropped up which the commission felt should be investigated by the DPP.”
He said the commission referred these issues to the DPP after the probe was completed. Asked what these issues were, Crichlow said he could not reveal that information. “We don’t reveal details of investigations that are sent to the DPP,” he added. He reiterated, however, that Sport Minister Anil Roberts was not being investigated by the DPP and the T&T Guardian should not have assumed the investigation was centred on Roberts, his permanent secretary Ashwin Creed or TTBBC special adviser Boxu Potts.
In his initial letter of complaint to the commission, however, Phillip called for an investigation into Roberts, Creed and Potts over issues relating to operations within the TTBBC. This sparked the probe by the commission. The commission’s subsequent response to Phillip, dated March 14, indicated that after its probe, his complaint had been referred to the DPP for further investigation.
Sequence of events
• In December 2011, Ricardo Phillip, a former member of the T&T Boxing Board of Control, wrote to the Integrity Commission complaining about several situations involving Roberts, his permanent secretary Ashwin Creed, and special adviser to the TTBBC Boxu Potts.
The T&T Guardian obtained a copy of this letter, parts of which were quoted in the story of March 20. Phillip told the Integrity Commission: “This letter represents my complaints to members of the board with regard to the minister, the permanent secretary (Mr Creed) and Boxu Potts.”
• On March 14, 2013, the registrar of the commission, Martin Farrell, replied to Phillip. The T&T Guardian has obtained a copy of the letter, which was quoted in our story of March 20.
It reads in full:
“Re: Investigations by the Integrity Commission into complaint against the TTBBC
“The Integrity Commission has completed its investigation into the caption.
“In keeping with the requirements of Section 31 (1) of the Integrity in Public Act, Chapter 22.01, the Commission has referred this matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
(See scanned copy of letter)
• Reporter Anika-Gumbs-Sandiford attempted to reach Roberts and Creed for comment on March 19, as reported in her story of March 20. She left voicemail for Roberts but he did not return her calls. However, T&T Guardian news editor Zaid Mohammed, who is a member of the TTBBC, was successful in reaching Roberts on March 20 and obtained a comment from him, which was included in yesterday’s T&T Guardian story.
That passage read:
“Commenting on the matter yesterday, Roberts said he was not unduly worried by the referral of the matter to the DPP’s office, noting he was certain he did not have a case to answer. “He also disclosed he was seeking legal advice on the matter.”
The Integrity Commission issued a statement yesterday which reads in full:
“The Integrity Commission of T&T has noted an article in the Trinidad Guardian of March 20, 2013 that states that the Integrity Commission has referred a matter concerning a minister of government and two other persons to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“The Office of the Integrity Commission wishes to categorically state that no allegations of misbehaviour in public office against Hon Anil Roberts, Minister of Sport, Permanent Secretary, Mr Ashwin Creed or Special Adviser to the T&T Boxing Board of Control, Mr Boxu Potts have been referred to the DPP by the Office of the Integrity Commission. Further the said persons were not referred to the DPP by the Office of the Integrity Commission.
“It is important to emphasise that Section 38 of the Integrity in Public Life Act (Chapter 22:01) states: ‘No report concluding that a person to whom this act applies has failed without reasonable justification to fulfil a duty or obligation under this act shall be made until reasonable notice has been given to such person of the alleged failure and the person has been allowed full opportunity to be heard either in person or by an attorney at law.’”
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