PEP wants DPP to probe Griffith’s ‘inducement’ claim

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: PEP political leader Phillip Edward Alexander.

THE political leader of the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP), Phillip Edward Alexander, has written to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to investigate claims by former commissioner of police Gary Griffith over an alleged $45 million “inducement” from the Prime Minister to pursue political opponents.

The letter was hand-delivered on Thursday afternoon. It asks the DPP to direct an investigation and unearth whether any law was broken.

At a media conference on Friday morning, Alexander said, “If there are no laws to restrain Dr Rowley directing the police service to go after political opponents, the question is why?”

In a short video circulating on social media, Griffith made the allegation during a political meeting hosted by his party, the National Transformation Alliance. He claimed while he served as police commissioner, Rowley gave him the money and told him, “These funds are to be used directly to hire a foreign attorney to arrest political opponents.’ (In) any other country in the world this government would have collapsed,” Griffith commented.

Alexander felt now this information has been made public, the DPP was the best person to say whether any wrong was done.

If this is true, he said, it would mean the government had tried to manipulate and influence the police authority and the justice system for political gain.

“The question is, why? That seems to be the living definition of misbehaviour in public office. And on the heels of Nelsongate, the government, through its former attorney general, demonstrated that it was willing to do anything to undermine the rule of law to go after political opponents, whether they’re guilty or innocent – that is besides the point. The point is, the government used underhanded illegal methods to try and prosecute and jail political opponents.”

Alexander also questioned the integrity of Griffith. “This is not something that you were supposed to sit on. If you’re bringing it out in the public space now, you could have brought it out in the public space then. What is the purpose of bringing it into the public space now – sensationalism?

“…The political directorate is not supposed to be able to direct the police service. That is what the separation of powers is for. The police service is supposed to say that we need $500 million to operate. It is the remit of the justice system of the DPP, of the police service, to identify where wrong has been done and crimes have been committed, and to use the funds available to them for that.”