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Paul says Express report totally misleading

By RHONDOR DOWLAT Tuesday, August 7 2007

click on pic to zoom in
CoP Trevor Paul...
CoP Trevor Paul...

POLICE Commissioner Trevor Paul slammed a Trinidad Express report yesterday which stated that two pages from a police station diary went missing. He said the pages were not ever missing and described the report as highly erroneous. On Monday, Express reporter Denyse Renne ran a cover story “Missing Pages Found”.

At yesterday’s weekly press conference at Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain, CoP Paul described the report as: “Utter rubbish, total nonsense and misleading.”

“No page was ever missing in the diary. Information can be obtained from station diaries by members of the public for a fee. On the front page of the paper is what we call copies of extracts and not station diary pages,” Paul said.

He gave a full statement which followed: “The author of this article, Ms Denyse Renne, attempts to convince the general public that station diary pages, she said were missing, have been found.”

Ms Renne’s article unambiguously states, and I quote, “Though the pages in the station diary went missing a few days after the incident, several copies were made before their disappearance’.”

“I want to assure the public that this article is totally misleading. No page was ever missing from the station diary.

“Ms Renne attempts to support her claim by publishing station diary extracts to give one the impression that they are in fact copies of pages of the station diary.

“However, those are not copies of pages in the station diary. Let me also take this opportunity to explain that station diary extracts can be obtained by members of the public for a fee of $50 through the Freedom of Information Act.

“I already dealt with this matter via a press release issued to the media on July 27. Yet, Ms Renne continues to publish highly erroneous reports on this matter. Her story has been inaccurate from inception and I urge her editors to thoroughly check her articles before they are published since it is not the first time she has caused the newspaper to publish such erroneous reports. I reiterate that no page was ever missing from the station diary.”

The allegations of missing pages in the station diary of the St James Police Station stemmed from an incident in which four people were detained on June 23 after an incident in the St James district. It was reported subsequent to the incident that a senior police officer, described as a relative of one of the four detainees, intervened in the matter.

However, as a result, given the nature of the allegation Paul immediately launched an investigation to verify the contents of the report. In a release sent out by the Police Service dated July 27, Paul stated that the investigations did not confirm the allegation, in the Express report.

The release was quoted as: “The station diary in question was thoroughly checked yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago Police service can say with absolute conviction that no page pertaining to this investigation is missing from the station diary. Therefore, the Police Service is dismissing those claims in the Trinidad Express. We reiterate that all records pertaining to this investigation are intact and are not missing”.

It is alleged that on the morning of June 23 a team of officers responded to a disturbance in the vicinity of Smokey and Bunty’s Sports Bar in St James where they warned a group of four who in turned attacked the officers.

On officer was allegedly struck with a bottle on the left shoulder, while another was slapped and bitten. Two other officers including a corporal were also attacked. The four suspects were arrested and detained at St James Police Station, including SRP Colin Reyes, 22, son of ACP Crime Gilbert Reyes.

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