Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is calling for the removal of Senior Superintendent Surajdeen Persad as a director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
"It is quite unacceptable that a police officer could have behaved in the way that he did, with respect to what has been exposed in the public domain—where he was listing persons within the security agency whom he believed were supporters of a political party," Rowley said in a telephone interview yesterday.
"It is also quite unacceptable that he should find himself personally advanced, as a result of his own conduct, to lead an agency where he has taken political positions on matters of intelligence gathering.
"It is clear that he has taken a position which is wholly unprofessional. Such a person ought not to be control of an agency such as the NIA or any responsible position in the security system," Rowley said.
The Opposition Leader said for his behaviour in reporting to the Prime Minister without reporting to his chain of command, he should be dismissed.
"For the slander and libel which he used to destroy the careers of people in the security system, he should not be given any post of authority, and for his open political bias towards the Government of the day, he is wholly unsuited to be the head of the intelligence-gathering agency.
"He poses a threat to anybody who he perceives to be opposed to the Government and that is a threat to our democracy. And I am calling for his instant removal," he said.
He said Persad destroyed the careers of persons who were ahead of him and got himself "endeared to the Prime Minister, and then he ends up being appointed to this position (of director of the NIA)".
Rowley had disclosed at a political meeting on Tuesday night in St Augustine the details of a letter from Persad to the Prime Minister, in which he recommended the "immediate" firing of 31 persons who had been employed with the now defunct Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) and the agency's head, Nigel Clement, all of whom he said maintained close links with the People's National Movement (PNM).
Persad also suggested the promotion of junior technician Reshmi Ramnarine, whose controversial appointment as director of the Strategic Services Agency (SSA), ended after nine days amid a firestorm of protest after it became clear she was not qualified for the job.