I have taken note of a lengthy missive in the press and sent to me on my private email from one Hayden Prichard. My apologies for not recognizing initially his Rear Admiral status, as indeed the Rear Admiral was not aware that I go by the title “Dr”, which is not conferred via a political process.
I have no interest in becoming a pen pal of the retired CDS.
It is neither my intention to trade invective and insults, for which I am also well equipped. There is no need to exchange resumes or give character evidence.
This matter is a very serious one involving the unlawful establishment of a secret two-man squad to investigate the workings of a unit within the structure of the independent Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
Rephrasing Shakespeare “methinks, the gentleman doth protest too much”. The inquirers of a secret probe, outside of public knowledge, going on for months, have been exposed in twenty-four hours. I call on Ret Sen Supt Arthur Barrington to likewise – identify himself and the role he played in this probe.
Both gentlemen are not untouchable or beyond the law. In fact, their report, if there is one, is susceptible to judicial review. Indeed, the Rear Admiral, like the NGC directors, may consider requesting an indemnity from Keith Rowley for whatever task was undertaken.
Now that the Rear Admiral has been drawn out in the light and belatedly stepped forward on the secret investigation into officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, he should provide pertinent details to taxpayers.
For example, Mr. Pritchard must tell the nation the terms of engagement, including his remuneration, for the clandestine project.
Further, for someone touting his proud military background, he should indicate under what law he was retained for the exercise of reviewing confidential police files and interviewing officers. The two man investigating committee had no legal status to undertake any inquiry. In fact, the Police would have been within their right to chase both gentlemen out of Police Headquarters.
The Rear Admiral must indicate who retained him for the stealth project. Was it the Prime Minister or Minister Stuart Young? And whether he felt it was appropriate to be appointed by a politician for such an assignment.
He should state whether he, as Chief of Defense Staff, would have been comfortable with a surreptitious probe into his stewardship, and one conducted outside of the independent administrative and regulatory framework.
Surely, Mr. Pritchard would not want to be labelled for posterity as having undermined the Commissioner of Police whom he recommended and for whose appointment he takes credit.
He should issue another soulful missive, this one addressing these urgent and highly bothersome national issues.
The much deeper issue, unrelated to the Rear Admiral and his medals, is that Rowley has on several occasions abused the position of Chairman of the National Security Council (NSC). This is a policy making sub committee of Cabinet. This is NOT an operational arm of law enforcement !!! This use of policy making bodies by Rogue Leaders for police and military operations is well known in third world Banana Republics run by dictators across the globe.
The Prime Minister brought in police officers from Barbados to investigate the DSS matter, he had no authority to do so. The Prime Minister cannot investigate the police service. He may refer a matter to the DPP or the PCA if he has information that criminal wrong doing has been undertaken. They can properly cause an investigation. It appears that the Prime Minister has also appointed Ret Justice Stanley John to inquire into this matter. Again I ask, under what law is the Prime Minister doing this?
Let me end by indicating to the Rear Admiral that my work is not a popularity contest. As an opposition member, I take on powerful Ministers and a raging Prime Minister everyday of my professional life, I will not be intimidated by a retired sailor!!