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Phillip to refile integrity complaint Anil was grilled during probe
Sport Minister Anil Roberts, permanent secretary Ashwin Creed, and T&T Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC) special adviser Boxu Potts were all interviewed by the Integrity Commission in relation to a complaint filed by former board member Ricardo Phillip.
The commission's chief communications and public relations officer Mervyn Crichlow yesterday confirmed to the T&T Guardian that the three were quizzed during the 15-month investigation, after which a file was sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Asked by T&T Guardian yesterday if Roberts, Creed and Potts had been investigated by the commission, Crichlow replied, "All three persons and Ricardo Phillip were interviewed, and a file was forwarded to the DPP.”
“I have taken an oath of secrecy and I am unable to say anything else," Crichlow said as he sought to clear the air. Crichlow unexpectedly turned up at a news conference yesterday held by Phillip and boxing promoter Tansley Thompson, at D Nu Pub (formerly Mas Camp Pub), Woodbrook. He made the comments as he left.
Crichlow also noted that if Phillip's complaint had been "frivolous," the commissioners would have written to him saying they were unable to proceed. No such letter has been sent to Phillip. On March 14, Phillip received a letter, headed "Investigations by the Integrity Commission into complaint against the TTBBC," telling him his complaint had been referred to the DPP.
On March 21, however, the commission wrote to Roberts telling him he had not been referred to the DPP. Speaking at the post-Cabinet news briefing on Thursday, Roberts said at no point was he ever the subject of a probe by the commission. Phillip yesterday called on the commission to clarify the "misconception" it had created by issuing the two letters.
He said he interpreted the letter sent to him by the commission to mean his complaint against the three had been sent to the DPP, given that he had never made a complaint against the TTBBC.
"My initial complaint to the Integrity Commission was to investigate Mr Anil Roberts, Ashwin Creed and Boxu Potts. During the last 15 months I was asked by the Integrity Commission to provide certain information as it relates to my complaint. I was asked to verify, to confirm and I co-operated fully with the investigators of the Integrity Commission. "My understanding of this investigation is that Mr Ashwin Creed, Mr Anil Roberts and Mr Boxu Potts were the ones who were being investigated.
"At no point in time during the investigation or prior to the investigation, or in my letter, did I ask the commission to investigate the boxing board or did I ask them to investigate any boxing board member. The letter was related to Ashwin Creed, Anil Roberts and Boxu Potts. "I took this letter to mean that my original complaint had been referred to the DPP.”
Phillip said the Integrity Commission needed “to come clean.” He added, “If I am called tomorrow by the DPP to give evidence against the TTBBC, I will be in a quandary, because I know nothing about any investigation of the boxing board." Phillip said he had met with the commission's registrar Martin Farrell, legal counsel Marlon Sambucharan, Andrew John (one of the commission's investigators) and Crichlow earlier yesterday to seek clarification.
However, Phillip said, he was told the commission was bound by an oath of secrecy and was unable to divulge further information. Phillip said he intended to refile his complaint next week in case the commission did not understand it the first time.
Philip, a former member of the T&T Boxing Board of Control, wrote to the commission on December 3, 2011, calling for an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds at the TTBBC relating to several events, in particular a card that was applied for by Potts' son Giovanni, who is also a boxing promoter, citing an apparent conflict of interests.
He said in his letter he had been sacked because he did not support the funding of the $1.9 million card for the 2011 Boxing Day event, scheduled for the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain. His letter specified: "This letter represents my complaints to members of the board with regard to the minister, the permanent secretary (Mr Creed) and Boxu Potts. "It was sent to my fellow members two days after I refused to support a boxing card for Mr Potts and his son."
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