Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard announced yesterday that the Police Service had started a "full criminal investigation" into the conduct of individuals and corporate entities involved in the collapse of Clico and related companies. The T&T Guardian understands that the official investigation by the police began last week. The announcement by the DPP came as he expressed concern that the media "should not publish or broadcast anything which might jeopardise, hinder or otherwise prejudice the investigation or any possible proceedings which might result from it."
Gaspard, in a written and signed statement, said that for the media to jeopardise, hinder or otherwise prejudice the investigation or any possible proceedings "may amount to a contempt of court. He said: "I remain mindful of competing public interest factors including the fair trial rights of potential defendants, the freedom of the press and the requirement of open justice." On September 27, 2010, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan told reporters after delivering the feature address at the formal opening of a workshop on corruption at the Cascadia Hotel in St Ann's that the reports and files of the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at Clico and CL Financial had been passed to the DPP "and he will be in a better position to answer any questions you have as to what action will be taken."
Speaking last night, Ramlogan said that he was aware of the fact that a criminal investigation has been launched and that he has been kept abreast of all of the developments relative to the ongoing inquiry. "I pledge my fullest support for this important investigation and shall commit to providing the necessary resources to facilitate it," said Ramlogan. Asked if his commitment to providing the investigation into the collapse of Clico with the necessary resources squared with his decision to terminate the lawyers who were heading the inquiry, Ramlogan said: "No lawyers involved in any criminal investigation of Clico or HCU were terminated by my office. There were several parallel investigations that did not produce value for money."
The Attorney General said the Government had appointed a commission of enquiry to investigate the collapse of the CL Financial empire and the HCU group. He said the revelations that have come out of that commission, which is headed by sole commissioner Sir Anthony Colman, "have prompted much public concern." Asked whether the police investigation was launched after the revelations at the commission of enquiry, Ramlogan said he could not comment on the operational aspects of the ongoing police investigation. But he said: "The investigation represents the ongoing process as the unravelling of the collapse of a once great financial institution that dominated the landscape with tentacles that extended into every nook and cranny of the country."