Heerah given 24 hours to submit report
Sunday, February 24 2013
Garvin Heerah, Director of the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC), has 24 hours from when he returns to Trinidad tonight, to present a report on his involvement in the New Flying Squad Investigation Unit (NFSIU) to National Security Minister Jack Warner.
Heerah, who has been in Argentina attending a meeting has been named by retired Inspector Mervyn Cordner as his contact in the Ministry of National Security who facilitated the start-up of the NFSIU.
He has been mandated to “put in writing what transpired as he understands it, within 24 hours of his return to TT,” Warner told Sunday Newsday.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in her capacity as chair of the National Security Council, has called for a report from Warner on the claims by Cordner that the investigation unit had been up and running for months.
“My report is finished and I am just waiting to attach Heerah’s account,” Warner said in an interview on Friday.
“Heerah does not have the autonomy to act on his own and what Cordner has alleged is that Heerah did send him by one guy who used to supply vehicles for the Special Anti-Crime Unit (SAUTT) on the basis that if or when they became a legitimate entity, then the contract will be given, “Warner said.
“For them to use vehicles, I would have had to approve it and then the Permanent Secretary would have had to prepare a note for Cabinet to approve any such contract,” the Minister said.
Asked how this could have happened in the Ministry and he be unaware of it, Warner responded:
“Anyone here could still do anything unofficially, it doesn't bother me. When it becomes official, then it is under my watch and if somebody uses their office or where they work as some kind of feather in their cap and so on I have nothing to do with that.”
He hinted at the possibility that heads could roll over this matter.
Denying reports that his relationship with Cordoner dates back to his days as an Special Reserve Police (SRP) officer, Warner insisted that the first time he ever met the man was in a pre-dawn meeting at his office in the Ministry of National Security on Abercromby Street.
“They had never been approached by me. They were brought here by Francis Joseph who is my special adviser. He said they wanted to meet with me and I meet with everybody, anyone who has an idea however remote it could be, who wants to fight crime. That, obviously, was my weakness and I met them,” he said.
“Mr Joseph and former Minister in the Ministry of National Security Colin Partap attended that meeting. I listened to what he (Cordner) had to say and then told him I would check with the Acting Police Commissioner, Stephen Williams.
“Well, by the time I spoke with Williams, in five seconds flat, he told me to disabuse myself of Cordner because he cannot be trusted. That is why I am insisting that Cordoner should come with documents and facts to prove what he is saying,” he said.
“In this case, the biggest mistake I made is that I am too accessible, but in the fight against crime I have to be,” he said.