Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ex-Special Branch officer tipped for CoP, says Rowley

‘Recommended Reshmi’

 Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley claimed yesterday that Government wants former Special Branch acting senior supt Surajdeen Persad as this country’s next Commissioner of Police (CoP).

He made the statement during his contribution to the Bail Bill at the Parliament sitting yesterday at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.

Last year, Rowley disclosed that the scandal surrounding the appointment of Reshmi Ramnarine as head of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) in 2011 was as a result of a recommendation made by Persad.

Rowley had read a letter, which he said was written by Persad to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on October 15, 2010. The subject was: Security Intelligence Agency (SIA), Re Illegal Tapping of Telephones. 

In 2011, Ramnarine, who was a junior technician at the SIA, was appointed to head the organisation with an embellished resume. She resigned amidst the controversy and a year later changed her name to Shashi Rehka.

Rowley yesterday raised the controversy again, emphasising that Persad-Bissessar, as head of the National Security Council, took the recommendations of Persad and fired a number of SIA employees, including former head Nigel Clement who was accused of transcribing the private conversations of Persad-Bissessar.

“I raise this, Mr Speaker, to let you know and to alert you and the country that the reason why the Government has taken no steps as it can to have a proper Commissioner of Police put in place, and is happy to have this extension going on with this ten-day Commissioner is because it is the Government’s intention to make Mr Persad the Commissioner of Police,” said Rowley.

“Ooooooh!” was the response of some Government members.

Rowley said this was in train very quietly and surreptitiously.

“Are you aware Mr Speaker that he is now in charge of the SIA, this said officer, against whom the Opposition has made these disclosures about this improper behaviour,” said Rowley.

He said further that he has a list of all the persons who were fired as a result of Persad’s recommendations. ­