Rowley: Judge went ‘overboard’ in criticisms of CoP

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley – File photo by Roger Jacob

THE Prime Minister says High Court judge Frank Seepersad had “gone overboard” in his criticism of the professional conduct of Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher.

He made his personal feelings known in answering a question asked on the evening of March 26, at the latest instalment of the Conversations with the Prime Minister forum, in Tunapuna.

He also reminded that it was the Cabinet and not any member of the judiciary that sets the policy for granting firearm user’s licences (FULs).

On March 25, Seepersad roundly chided CoP Harewood-Christopher over a Tobago businessman’s seven-year wait for an FUL.

Rowley commented, “So activist judges who act as though they could make policy and guide public servants on what to do, I am saying (it is) the Government’s policy (that) ought to be respected.

“The Government has no policy to arm the population, like what Gary Griffith has been doing and advocating in the political arena.”

He said his Government has a different approach.

“We get firearms into the population in a controlled and serviced way. We are not here talking about, ‘Because you have crime in the country, everybody is entitled to a gun, and therefore, the judge say so.’

“Policy is for the Cabinet. Okay?”

In saying he had thought Seepersad had “gone overboard” in his criticism, the PM said it was likely the top cop had not personally issued any affidavits in her name to the court which said she had been too busy to handle that particular FUL application.