Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith's recent statement on the investigations into Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley over allegations made by Oropouche MP Dr Roodal Moonilal and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi's children handling high-powered weapons at the Defence Force's Cumuto base seems to be telegraphing a certain path at this stage.
During Wednesday's weekly T&T Police Service press briefing, CoP Griffith revealed that from preliminary investigations into Moonilal's allegations that the PM had benefited financially from the A&V Drilling fake oil scandal, "there was no nexus between the subject and the account number identified in that case summary based on the account." He also pointed out that “there was no identified transaction between the subject and the other subjects identified.”
In other words, CoP Griffith's statement gave the impression the PM did not have an account in the Miami bank named, nor was there any transaction in which the supposed transgression could have occurred between the parties named by Moonilal.
The situation in the case involving AG Al-Rawi's children was similar, with the CoP saying although it was to be closed within a week they had hit a bump due to a lack of cooperation from army officials.
What was curious though, was that by CoP Griffith's own admission, the cases are far from done.
In both circumstances, the police are yet to wrap up key fact-finding activities in the matters. In the PM's case, they have not yet interviewed the main accuser Dr Moonilal, who levelled what he felt were serious enough allegations against not only against PM Rowley but former People’s National Movement (PNM) Siparia candidate Vidya Deokiesingh, nor wrapped up activities with foreign counterparts to bring finality to that investigation.
In the case of the AG's children, the police are also similarly trying to track down the contents of a board of inquiry into the matter conducted by the Defence Force. That inquiry would have featured all the witnesses involved in the matter, the transcripts of their depositions, witness statements and other relevant material. And according to Griffith, not one but two Chiefs of Defence Staff—one of them now sitting with him at national security meetings—would have refused to comply with a request for same.
Even in this scenario, the TTPS also has the power to exercise a certain approach should there be non-cooperation. There can be no middle ground in the exercise of their duty to find the truth in this case.
What CoP Griffith has really revealed here is the continuing lethargy on the part of local institutions investigating key matters of public importance, conducted using taxpayers' funds, to take the rigorous action required to get the job done.
The public deserves better than this. The CoP ought to call the investigating officers to account.