Acting Police Commissioner Gary Griffith left the country for Miami yesterday.
He will be heading onward to the Middle East and Europe.
A casually dressed Griffith and his son Gary III were among passengers on yesterday morning’s Miami-bound flight out of Piarco International Airport.
Guardian Media was informed that Griffith will be out of the country until retired Justice Stanley John completes his report. John was hired by the Police Service Commission in August to fact-find on certain TTPS issues, including concerns regarding firearm users’ licenses. In late August, it was estimated that his report might be completed in a month.
From Miami, Griffith will head to the Middle East and Europe with his son, who was invited to football trials with a few football clubs there.
But sources added that Griffith “will be back.”
Meanwhile, yesterday, Government remained mum on Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s query—including to President Paula-Mae Weekes—on whether Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was the public official who was at President’s House on August 12, when PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad went there to deliver to the President a merit list of nominees for the position of Commissioner of Police. Following the public official’s alleged presence at President’s House, the PSC later hired John.
The matter of the public official was reported in a leaked email from former PSC commissioner Roger Kawalsingh. He resigned from the PSC on Monday.
The Opposition United National Congress claimed the information Seepersad received from the public official so “alarmed” her that she didn’t deliver the merit list and John was later hired.
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds recently said the National Security Council had information which it couldn’t ignore and informed the PSC. He said the PSC continued its work and appointed John to investigate some of those matters. Hinds, however, has scoffed at questions from the UNC that he was the public official who was at President’s House.
On Monday, Persad-Bissessar referenced Rowley in the query, asking if he was the official and if so, did the meeting influence the PSC matter on the appointment of an acting CoP.
Yesterday, Rowley didn’t reply to questions from Guardian Media on whether or not he was that official.
However, Communication Minister Symon de Nobrega yesterday responded to the Opposition leader’s query saying, “This seems to be yet another instalment of her purposeful agenda to cast doubt wherever she can.”
He added, “It is unfortunate that she’s now apparently widened her net to include the Office of the President.”
Persad-Bissessar has also called on the President to say why she didn’t submit the merit list for an acting CoP to the Parliament as required by law. Persad-Bissessar further asked what legal advice was used by the President to determine if a year-old notification to Parliament for the appointment of retired deputy Police Commissioner Vincel Edwards to the PSC is still valid.
Persad-Bissessar said the notification (for Edwards) wasn’t on Parliament’s order papers for 2021 after she checked all 36 order papers.
President’s House recently said the notification was sent to the Parliament in June 2020. In addition, the Leader of Government Business in the House, Camille Robinson-Regis, at the last sitting had directed that it be placed on the order paper for an upcoming sitting and it was with the Clerk of the House to be placed there.
But yesterday, there was no word from the Parliament about this. Instead, they referred all questions to Robinson-Regis.
Robinson-Regis responded by forwarding the July 3, 2020, order paper where the notification had appeared and added, “As I said, the notification is still valid and as I also said, I’d asked the Clerk on September 15 to place it on the next order paper.”
Robinson-Regis continued, “We haven’t had a sitting since then so we have no order paper. The next sitting is October 4.”
The Budget 2022 will be presented on October 4.
Asked if the notification might possibly be debated after the Budget is presented Monday or placed for debate after the Budget ends, Robinson-Regis said, “At this time there is no intention of interrupting the Budget debate.”
Efforts to contact Edwards yesterday were unsuccessful.