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Persad-Bissessar calls for probe into scrapping of merit list – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Kamla Persad-Bissessar

The Opposition Leader is calling on the Police Service Commission to launch an immediate investigation into the reasons why the merit list for the position of Commissioner of Police (CoP) which was submitted to President Paula-Mae Weeks in August 2021 was withdrawn and under whose instructions.

In a release, it said thanks to a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by activist Ravi Balgobin Maharaj, the names on the merit list for the substantive appointment of Cop were shown to have been Gary Griffith, Jason Francis, Andre Norton and Erla Harewood-Christopher, while the names for acting appointment as CoP were Gary Griffith and McDonald Jacob.

The release said it was clear that Griffith was the first choice by the PSC to be appointed as acting CoP and also to be reappointed in his position as CoP.

“The nation should remember that facing public pressure with the collapse of the PSC chaired by Bliss Seepersad, Keith Rowley confessed to having written to the PSC complaining about then Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith in September of 2020.

“That disturbing revelation coupled with the disclosure of nominees for the top cop position on the August 2021 Merit List leaves us with a serious question: Did Keith Rowley violate the constitution and the law by deliberately sabotaging the selection of a Commissioner of Police out of his personal vendetta against Gary Griffith?”

Persad-Bissessar also called on the new PSC to make public its reasons for scrapping the August merit list, the process and/or laws which it followed in doing so, and the details of the legal advice suggesting that it should start the process afresh.

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