Last update: 31-Jul-2014 11:54 am
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Al-Rawi: ‘Flying Squad’ reports say: Charge the cops
Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi has said two reports by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and the Police Service into allegations of the re-establishment of a Flying Squad in July 2012 recommended that criminal charges should be considered against officers involved in the operation. He was contributing to yesterday’s Senate debate on the Finance Bill 2014, which was presented by Finance and the Economy Minister Larry Howai.
Al-Rawi said the reports were dated December 13, 2013 and were “earth-shattering.” He said they confirmed the existence of the unit, headed by retired police inspector Mervyn Cordner. “It says all of that happened but it seeks to exculpate the political entities and seeks to pin the blame on a police officer,” he told legislators. The Opposition Senator said he found it difficult to accept that the unidentified police officer could have established the squad by himself.
“He cannot be so powerful and the National Security Council (NSC), which the Prime Minister heads, must have known about this,” he said. Al-Rawi said the report by the Police Service recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should consider criminal charges over the acquisition of vehicles. The report also recommended that charges should also be considered in respect of the rental of property at 51 Factory Road, Piarco, and another at Macoya.
Al-Rawi wanted to know “how could the Government be sitting down on something like this and hope that it would be buried.” He also commented on yesterday’s announcement by National Security Minister Gary Griffith of the establishment of a Special Operations Unit to deal with crime. Al-Rawi said the measure was being established under the same legislation that was used to set up the disbanded Special Anti Crime Unit of T&T.
Griffith said the new unit was being established under the Defence Act, the Constitution and the Police Service Act and rules. The minister said the same constitutional clothing was being used to set up the new unit. The unit is to operate as an inter-agency task force and its members were to be trained by foreigners, Griffith said earlier.