Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams has appointed acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Simon Alexis to probe the New Flying Squad Investigations Unit (NFSIU).
The move comes two weeks after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made a statement in Parliament, in which she disclosed the National Security Council (NSC) had referred the matter to Williams.
"I wish to report that after full discussions and careful deliberations, the NSC took the decision to refer the said reports to the (acting) Commissioner of Police (Stephen Williams) for investigation into any alleged wrong-doings, unlawful conduct and/or action by any or all persons reported to be involved in this matter," said the Prime Minister.
"As chairman of the NSC, I wish to emphasise that this course of action was taken at the very first meeting of the NSC, upon receipt of the reports from relevant officials. Therefore, I again repeat; there has been no direct or applied approval ever given by the NSC or the Cabinet for the establishment of any such unit," she had told Parliament.
Former police sergeant Mervyn Cordner has claimed he was given approval by National Security Minister Jack Warner to set up the unit in July 2012 and has worked alongside the police in several investigations over the past six months.
Cordner claimed he met with Williams on three occasions during the lifespan of the NFSIU before it was forced to close shop because funds were not forthcoming from the ministry.
For his part, Williams has maintained that he dismissed the idea of a revived Flying Squad when Warner had raised it.
Independent Senator Dr Rolph Balgobin and former independent senator Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal have both raised questions about Williams conducting a probe into the NFSIU, given that his name has been included in the matter.
"He can't say he didn't know since he dismissed the idea when it was brought to him. And if he found there was no basis for an investigation before, why would it be different now? To top it off, he's being asked to investigate a man (Warner) who can directly influence his confirmation as Commissioner of Police. How can you expect him to deliver an objective perspective? And is it fair to even ask him to do so?" asked Balgobin in an interview with the Sunday Express.
Alexis is head of administration at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. His six-month tenure as acting DCP was also extended by the Police Service Commission (PSC) on January 31 when it granted an extension to Williams.
Alexis and Raymond Craig, who were both assistant police commissioners (ACPs), were promoted to the post of acting DCPs after the resignation of former commissioner Dwayne Gibbs and DCP Jack Ewatski last July.
On Tuesday in the Senate, Warner, in an answer to an oral question posed by People's National Movement (PNM) Senator Fitzgerald Hinds, said he abandoned plans to establish a new Flying Squad because it was not supported by Williams.
"I made no promises. I said I would explore it and I did. I discussed it with the (acting) Commissioner of Police and based on his advice, the idea was abandoned," Warner said.
At a news conference on March 11 at the unit's so-called headquarters at Donrich Security Kennels Ltd, Factory Road, Piarco, Cordner said he had not yet been contacted by the police with regard to any investigation into the NFSIU.
Even as the Police Service gets ready to begin its investigation, the Express understands Cordner was interviewed by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) on Tuesday for more than four hours.
The PCA is pursuing a separate enquiry into the NFSIU.