Acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob says police have yet to make a decision on whether they will interview Jamaat Al Muslimeen leader, Iman Yasin Abu Bakr over his controversial “warnings” to Government in a Facebook video on Friday.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Jacob said no final decision has been made.
“At this point, we have not finalised whether or not there is a need to interview him or anything, the legal department will look at it tomorrow (Monday) but at this point, we have not fully decided whether or not there is a need,” he said.
During the live broadcast on Friday, Bakr issued several warnings.
And while there has been some panic on social media as to the meaning of Bakr’s statements, Jacob said the TTPS will act according to the law.
“Yes we have to be concerned about persons comments but we need to make sure that when we go to talk to people, we have reasonable cause to go talk to them.”
Jacob rubbished social media commentary that the TTPS was not acting because Bakr led the 1990 attempted coup.
“That is foolishness to the highest, on the last two occasions when Mr Bakr made comments and our legal team felt it was necessary to interview him, we went and had chats with him. Have you ever heard of the police service in Trinidad and Tobago being afraid of anyone? That is utter rubbish,” Jacob said.
He said while he understands the public may interpret Bakr’s comments in different ways because of his affiliation with the coup attempt, the TTPS cannot act without legal justification.
He also addressed a fake press release shared on social media sites yesterday, on a document bearing the Ministry of Health’s official letterhead.
Dated September 12, the “release” stated, “Country to be opened back from 9/14/2021.”
Jacob said this ‘release’ was obviously fake and was likely shared as an excuse to encourage others to break the law.
Whenever you are uncertain about the authenticity of a release such as this, you should always check official sites, (in this case the Ministry of Health) to determine whether the same message was posted on official forums. Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation can also indicate a release is fake.
Jacob has sent out a warning of his own to the population: do not break the law because of fake news.