Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the gun probe into the Attorney General Faris Al Rawi’s children handling high-powered weapons on a military base, may be wrapped up by next week.
While he said the matter will be closed “within the next week or two,” the top cop said the probe has hit a bump in the road because of the lack of cooperation of the Defence Force.
He said official correspondence was sent to the then Chief of Defence, Staff Brigadier General Rodney Smart, on October 21, 2016 asking for the contents of a Board of Inquiry into the incident.
Guardian Media was told that the police were seeking to find out the numbers, ranks, and full names of all persons who were called as witnesses to the hearings, certified copies of all witness statements, reports, transcripts of proceedings, documents and other material tendered by all witnesses who were party to the hearings, as well as a certified copy of the findings/recommendations of the Board of Inquiry.
However Griffith said there was no response forthcoming.
He added that a second letter requesting the same information was sent, on May 11, 2018, to the new Chief of Defence Staff Rear Admiral Hayden Pritchard but he too did not comply.
“Not even the common courtesy of a response,” he said.
“I am fighting enough wars, I have no intention of fighting a war with the Defence Force but this is totally unacceptable.”
Griffith said he will be writing to the current Chief of Defence Staff, Air Commodore Darryl Daniel, to again request the information which he said would assist in closing the matter.
“After three strikes somebody will be out.”
He then gave the assurance that this matter will be closed “one way or the other.”
Contacted by Guardian Media Brigadier General Rodney Smart (Retired) said he cannot recall receiving the correspondence from the police but, “off the top of my head I can’t say we would have not co-operated. While I was there the Defence Force would want to cooperate,” Smart said.
Rear Admiral Hayden Pritchard (Retired) who assumed the post in August 2017 said he would rather not comment on the matter publicly but instead he, “will contact the Commissioner and see if I could being some comfort to him.”
The photographs of Al-Rawi’s children were brought to the national spotlight in October 2016 when Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal presented them in the House of Representatives during the budget debate.
At the time Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley slammed the TTDF for the situation saying the leak of the photographs was a serious breach of security.
The TTDF then convened a Borad of Inquiry to investigate the situation.
After the investigation was completed the BOI’s Record of Proceedings report was presented to Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier General Rodney Smart “as a Top Secret document”.
Al-Rawi has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter, a report from the TTDF stated.
In responding to the latest development, the MP who disclosed photos to the Parliament, Dr Roodal Moonilal, said “this is very disturbing that the Defence force refuses to cooperate with the TTPS.”