Friday, December 15, 2017

Ramesh: Top cop is not AG’s robot

If the acting Commissioner of Police, Stephen Williams is investigating the leak of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) report based on representations made by the Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, that would be totally improper, former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj stated yesterday.

Maharaj, who returns from Miami today, said it would be unlawful for the Commissioner of Police to become a robot of the Attorney General. 

Maharaj said, under the Constitution, the Police Service was insulated from politicians and must not take instructions in respect of police investigations from a Minister of Government.

 Maharaj said if the Attorney General wants to make representations he must do so to the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

And if the representations have merit, the DPP would then refer the issue to the  Commissioner of Police, Maharaj said. 

He added: “But a Minister of Government, including the Attorney General, cannot contaminate an investigation process by giving the appearance that the Commissioner of Police is acting at his behest”.

Williams, having previously stated (on Wednesday) that he did not think that an investigation into the leak was warranted at this time, appeared to make an about-turn on Friday, ordering an investigation into the leaking of the PCA report on the Flying Squad, to determine whether Section 47 of the PCA Act was breached. That section prohibits the disclosure of any confidential information, without lawful authorisation or justification.

The Attorney General has been steadfast in his call for a probe into the leak, which he described as “tantamount to treason and a subversion of the State”. 

The PCA report and the Police Service report on the New Flying Squad Investigative Unit were leaked to People’s National Movement Senator Faris Al-Rawi and Sunday Express investigative journalist Anika Gumbs.

The two reports confirmed that the Flying Squad operated without authorisation in 2013 and that Head of the National Security Operations Centre Garvin Heerah was instrumental in facilitating its operation. 

Maharaj said: “I intend to call a press conference on Tuesday to deal with police investigations which should have taken place and have not taken place. For example what has happened to the Section 34 investigation, what has happened to the emailgate investigation? Those are investigations which the Attorney General should be talking about to tell the country what is the position, instead of trying to use his position as Attorney General as he tried with Ken Gordon, chairman of the Integrity Commission and with the Director of Public Prosecutions (Roger Gaspard)”, Maharaj stated.

Maharaj said he was calling upon Gillian Lucky, director of the PCA, to “stand firm and do not allow the Attorney General or any of the Ministers of Government to force her to leave an office when she is entitled to remain in office. She did no wrong”.

On the view that Lucky should stand down, Maharaj said she was not a minister of government and also there was a presumption of innocence. 

He said the Prime Minister and the Attorney General had not stepped down while Section 34 and emailgate are being investigated.