Outgoing US Ambassador John Estrada says if he were in charge of the Police Service he would fire himself in the face of a spiralling crime problem.
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Anand insists report leaked
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is calling on acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to conduct a police investigation into the leak of reports by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) on the New Flying Squad Investigative Unit. Ramlogan made the call in a letter to Williams yesterday, hours after PCA director Gillian Lucky told a parliamentary Joint Select Committee hearing, which was in session at Tower D, Waterfront Complex, Port-of-Spain, that the report was not a confidential document as claimed by Ramlogan.
It was Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi who first told the Senate about the report two weeks ago. He said then that he had two reports - one from the PCA and the other T&T Police Service -, which recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) pursue criminal investigations into police officers for their role in the squad. The squad was re-established in 2012.
In a release yesterday indicating that he had sent the letter to Williams, Ramlogan said the “belated admission by Ms Lucky that the report is not confidential is troubling.” He insisted that section 21 (4) of the PCA Act states that all information and evidence obtained by the PCA in the performance of its duties is confidential and it is a criminal offence for anyone to disclose such information, an act which is punishable by five years imprisonment.
“If the report is not a confidential one that could be leaked to the PNM, why not simply give the parliament, the government and the media a copy,” Ramlogan noted. The AG maintained that it was “shocking and confusing” for Lucky to say the document was not confidential.
“The conflicting and contradictory postures from Al-Rawi and Lucky serve to reinforce the need for an investigation by senior officers in the Police Service (and) it is also a matter the Integrity Commission should investigate,” Ramlogan contended in the release. As such, he said he wrote to the Commissioner of Police requesting “a formal police investigation into this leak which has the potential to compromise the integrity and independence of critical institutions of the State.”
Ramlogan also again maintained that the report was leaked to Al-Rawi. Both Al-Rawi and Lucky have denied Ramlogan’s claim. Ramlogan said Lucky’s suggestion that Al-Rawi’s statements in Parliament could be a reference to the report from the Police Service alone was unfortunate, adding that her comment “was not clarified or corrected by him (Al-Rawi) who was present at the meeting. “He perpetuated this false impression by his silence.”
He suggested it was”strange that anyone would want to give the public the impression that Senator Al-Rawi had access to the police report alone. That is misleading and inaccurate. Senator Al-Rawi has repeatedly publicly confirmed that both reports were in fact leaked to him.”