|IT WASN’T ME |
BY JULIEN NEAVES Friday, April 25 2014
IT WASN’T ME!
This was how Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard yesterday broke his silence on the leak of the Police Service and Police Complaints Authority (PCA) reports on probes into the formation of a new Flying Squad.
And in an immediate response to the DPP’s flat denial that his office was not where the leak of the reports came, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said he was not surprised at the DPP’s denial and said the onus rest solely on Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi to state who gave him the reports which he (Al-Rawi) revealed to the nation while contributing to debate in the Senate.
Questioned by reporters yesterday at a Plea Bargaining workshop put on by the US Embassy at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain, DPP Gaspard spoke briefly on the issue. Asked whether he was concerned that his office has been brought into disrepute over allegations surrounding the leaks, Gaspard said he did not hold that opinion.
“My opinion and I’m sure about it, is that no leak occurred from my office,” Gaspard said.
“Apart from that I just want to get on with the business of examining the contents of the report and I have no further comment to make to the media,” Gaspard added.
Pressed further on the issue, Gaspard repeated that he had no more comments to make to the media. There is no word on whether Gaspard has made a decision, one way or the other, having perused the reports. Police sources last night confirmed that no directive has come from the Office of the DPP regarding the laying of any charge against anyone mentioned in the Police and PCA reports of the probe into the new Flying Squad. Gaspard’s comments came days after Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Director Gillian Lucky denied the leak had come from the Authority.
Lucky had indicated report would have been in the hands of the DPP, the PCA and an attorney of Senior Counsel status hired to work on behalf of the PCA.
On April 8, Al-Rawi in his Senate contribution on the Finance Bill reported receiving a copy of the reports on the new Flying Squad and chided Government for sitting on the reports since December 13. Al-Rawi said he received the reports in his mailbox. The Flying Squad reports were also leaked to a media house.
The leaks sparked outrage and an ongoing war of words between Al-Rawi, AG Ramlogan and Lucky. Ramlogan who was the feature speaker at the workshop yesterday, declined to take any questions saying he had to go to the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Later, in a media release, the AG stated he was not surprised that DPP Gaspard had denied that Al-Rawi obtained copies of the PCA and police reports into the Flying Squad from his office.
“This in fact confirms my previous statements that these documents were not leaked to the PNM by the Office of the DPP,” Ramlogan said in the release.
Also in yesterday’s release, Ramlogan again took Lucky to task for her statements before a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Tuesday that the report in question was not confidential.
He then called on Al-Rawi to explain to the nation the means through which he came into possession of the PCA’s report and the inaccuracies read into the Hansard at the April 8 sitting of the Senate.
“This is the correct position and any attempt to move away from it would not be proper. The onus lies on Al-Rawi to come clean and clear the air on his mysterious source,” said Ramlogan.
He stressed that it is the duty and responsibility of the Police Service to investigate criminal offences and the leak of the PCA report, “is a clear violation of Section 47 which gives rise to the commission of a criminal offence.”
“I am satisfied that I have performed my duty and the ball is therefore now in Faris Al-Rawi’s court. The Commissioner of Police and the Integrity Commission will also, no doubt, discharge their duties in accordance with the law,” Ramlogan said. The AG has since written to the Acting Police Commissioner asking for a probe into the leak.
“A failure to investigate could be interpreted as an abdication of one’s legal duty and responsibility, but that is a judgement call and a matter for the discretion of the relevant authorities,” Ramlogan added yesterday.
On Wednesday, Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams told Newsday that at present there was no requirement for an investigation into the leaked reports, to be launched.