Gary Griffith: National Security media conference was folly

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Gary Griffith –

NTA political leader and former police commissioner Gary Griffith said the joint media conference held by the Ministers of National Security and Foreign and Caricom Affairs on Tuesday highlighted the ministers’ in-question folly as it pertained to their areas of focus.

He said the conference was held to highlight, again, a matter that transpired over three years ago, involving two men jointly accused of over 60 offences for sexual crimes against women.

At the conference, the ministers spoke about the comments made by Griffith following the death of two men in police custody who were held in connection with the murder of Andrea Bharrat.

They said the deaths also led to the withdrawal of assistance to the special operations response team (SORT) by the US government for gross violations of human rights.

Griffith said, “If indeed I am somehow responsible for what took place with the two men and we are shutting down units associated, then do we make the Prisons Commissioner responsible for the recent death of a prisoner? How about McDonald Jacob or Erla Christopher-Harewood, for the 100 police killings which took place after I was CoP? And do we shut down the Prison Service, the Coast Guard, the Defence Force or the IATF, GEB, Northern Division and other aspects of the TTPS because of deaths involving them?

“Not saying that these should be shut down but if we are to be truthful, it is clear that certain persons wanted to shut down SORT for the one incident, because they were pegging back criminals, some of whom may have even been closely associated with government officials who paid them through big state contracts.”

Griffith said contrary to the information presented by Browne, “the SORT never received funding from the US Government and I challenge him and Hinds to prove otherwise.

“Additionally, the same US Embassy referenced by Browne, also approached me when I was CoP, to express their utter disgust that this PNM government has a cozy and close relationship with persons from another country who are not allies of theirs and who are considered a dictatorial led country.”

Griffith said he was never allowed to respond to the firearms users licences audit report “…which violates the rules of natural justice, which makes it null and void, hence the lawsuit and eventual injunction which debarred them from laying it in Parliament. This is perhaps why they preferred to try to share it in Parliament where there are no legal consequences for lying.”

He said the refrain of refrain of legal firearms has become almost comedy, as TT continues to pay the price of an influx in the illegal firearms trade.

He said Hinds appears to have no interest, as all the government continues to lay focus upon are legal firearms and legal firearm holders.

Griffith said he would continue to “refer to those who rape, kidnap and kill innocent persons as cockroaches. When held, they should be behind bars and away from the public, not enjoying millions of dollars in taxpayers dollars, because your government deems them community leaders.”