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Give them lie detector tests

By Nalini Seelal Saturday, June 1 2013

Acting Police Commissioner, Stephen Williams yesterday confirmed that foreign Information Technology (IT) experts will be engaged for a fixed period of time to assist the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service in bringing closure to the probe into allegations contained in email correspondence.

The Police Social and Welfare Association is also calling for lie detector tests to be conducted.

The emails, which were first read out in Parliament by Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley, alleged conspiracy by some Government officials as well as other serious wrongdoings.

Yesterday the Ag Police Commissioner said while there are competent men and women in the Cyber Crime Unit of the TT Police Service, some technical expertise will be required in the email probe and he will be evoking Section 22 of the Police Service Act to bring in foreign experts for a fixed period.

“Under Section 22 of the Police Service Act, it gives the Commissioner the authority to engage for a fixed period of time, the expertise of individuals where the Police Service does not have such expertise and therefore any assistance that the Police Service will require to complete this investigation will be engaged,” he said.

With respect to the status of the investigation, Williams noted the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mervyn Richardson, will be updating the public on a continuous basis at clear, set intervals as he sees fit.

The Ag Commissioner also defended his decision to appoint DCP Richardson as lead investigator in the probe. He lashed out at those who have been issuing releases to sully the name of his second in command, at the helm of the TT Police Service.

“DCP Richardson is quite competent and capable of addressing all the unwarranted attacks that have been meted out to him. I am sure he will continue to be a true professional and will not be swayed by the pressure that is being brought to bear by those releases that have been made for strictly political reasons,” said Williams.

Williams said he continues to be updated on the status of the investigation and he has also advised that the public not be kept in the dark as the investigation progresses.

Also yesterday, the Police Social and Welfare Association broke its silence on the public attacks on DCP Richardson and the call by the Opposition Leader to bring in foreign experts because of his lack of confidence in DCP Richardson and to some extent, the TT Police Service.

Secretary of the Association, Sgt Michael Seales said the Association had decided not to get involved in commenting on the email issue but decided to say its part because of the many attacks meted out to the lead investigator.

“The Association has watched how the whole issue on the e-mail scandal has unfolded and the Association would have held its tongue and would have not contributed to what has taken place but unfortunately, as a result of what has unfolded over the last 24 hours, the Association could no longer keep its silence,” Seales said.

“The Association condemns in the strongest way the notion that the Police Service and in particular, this investigation, headed by DCP Richardson is not above board. The Association dispels any attack where the integrity of the Police Service is compromised with this investigation” he continued.

Sgt Seales said that he and others, including Inspector Roger Alexander, who will be contesting the post of Vice President under the Sgt Ramasar-led team, believes that those named in the e- mail should subject themselves to lie-detector tests. He said that a lie-detector test will determine who is telling the truth or otherwise.

There are currently four police officers trained in polygraph testing in the Police Service.

Yesterday a team of officers probing the controversy reviewed statements received and will continue interviews on Monday.

They are expected to meet with Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan, together with Leader of Government Business, Dr Roodal Moonilal, and Minister of Works, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan. It remained unclear yesterday, when the Prime Minister, Kama Persad-Bissessar, would make herself available to be interviewed on Monday.

However Cabinet sources told Newsday the PM and others named are willing to corporate with the police and hand over any piece of equipment or correspondence to assist investigators.

Newsday understands the police have already requested access to the emails of the PM, her AG, Rambachan, and Security Advisor, Gary Griffith between September 5 to September 30 last year.

The e-mail controversy was first made public by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley during a no confidence motion.

The police have since met with Rowley on the allegation and would be forwarding a letter to him for access to his computers and other pieces of equipment which he used to send and receive emails.

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