Thursday, December 14, 2017

PCA responds to AG: We have no political agenda

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is not a political entity and does not exercise any of its functions with a political agenda.

In a release yesterday, the PCA reiterated it did not leak its report on the alleged existence of a New Flying Squad Investigative Unit (NFSIU) to any media house or Parliamentarian.

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan had asked whether there was an ulterior political motive in the leaking of the report which he claimed cleared former national security minister Jack Warner of any wrongdoing with respect to the NFSIU.

The PCA refuted Ramlogan’s claims saying his comments were unfortunate.

“The PCA refutes the claim made by the AG in the Express newspaper of Tuesday 15th April, 2014. The PCA is not a political entity and does not exercise any of its functions with a political agenda. Further, it does not have the power to ‘clear’ any party, as suggested by the AG,” stated the PCA.

“The political connecting of the dots is conjecture on the part of the AG and has nothing to do with the PCA. It is the Office of the DPP only that has the power to make decisions based on the findings and recommendations of the office of the PCA,” stated the release.

The PCA added that from the outset, in order to further insulate the authority from political interference and to bolster its independence, the PCA retained the services of a senior counsel who formed part of a specially constituted team that dealt specifically with this matter.

“The PCA made its findings based on the inquiries which it undertook, on the evidence gathered and on senior counsel’s advice. In exercising its functions, the PCA did not allow any external factors to compromise, its independence and objectivity, stated the PCA,” stated the PCA.

The PCA also disclosed that it was not required to submit any of its reports to the Prime Minister or the National Security Council.

“Section 19 of the Police Complaints Authority Act, Chapter 15:05 makes it clear that the PCA is not subject to the direction and control of any person in the performance of its functions,” stated the release.

The PCA stated that the “utterances” made by members of the Executive of the Police Social and Welfare Association make it clear that this organisation does not understand the provisions of the PCA Act.

“The Association and the public are assured that the PCA holds itself to its statutory obligation of confidentiality and that information obtained during the exercise of its functions has never been the subject of any breach,” it stated.

The PCA also reiterated that leaking its report does not serve its interest.

“There was no need to leak the report as the PCA’s powers include the authority to make public disclosure of its findings in any matter. This has been done with several matters in the past. In this instance, the PCA chose not to place any of its findings in the public domain, and the report was delivered directly to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” stated the PCA.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the Attorney General has sought to suggest that the manner in which the report was introduced into public domain contaminates the report’s content and findings,” the PCA added.