Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : Aug 4th 2015 Contents A5
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
Deputy Police Commissioner Glenn
Hackett yesterday gave his investigators
seven more days to complete the probe
into a leaked Special Branch memo which
claimed that the Prime Minister s life was
In a telephone interview yesterday, Hack-
ett said his investigators submitted an interim
report and based on that report he offered
then one further week to determine who
leaked the confidential information which
was posted on social media causing unnec-
essary panic last week.
While the leaked memo was confirmed
to originate from senior officers at the Special
Branch Unit by acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams, the contents which
claimed that the Jamaat al Muslimeen was
masterminding to murder PM Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar was deemed by Williams to
be "just a rumour."
Despite this security around the Prime
Minister was increased following the leaked
The Special Branch correspondence
claimed that members of the Jamaat al Mus-
limeen were transporting guns throughout
the country and were planning to attack
the PM's private residence in Phillipine and
Siparia and free 11 men who have been
charged with the murder of Senior Counsel
Dana Seetahal and those charged in the
Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial.
Williams said the memorandum, circu-
lating via social media, was generated from
the Special Branch and signed by an assigned
superintendent and circulated last Tuesday
around 6.15 pm to all field sections in Special
He said the rumour which generated the
memo was not supported by facts when
the officers did their investigations and the
Special Branch would not have communi-
cated anything to either him or the PM until
the information was verified. Williams added
that an investigation had been launched
into the leak and Hackett had been given
an August 3 deadline to report to him on
the matter. He said appropriate action would
be taken against the officer who breached
the unit's confidentiality but did not specify
what that would entail.
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams says the investigation into the
alleged discovery of marijuana at the private
residence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar two years ago is progressing.
But the top cop added he has not yet
received a report from the investigator.
Last month Williams had said the probe
would be extended by two weeks.
Earlier Williams had said, "I have given
a clear mandate to the investigator that this
matter should be treated with priority, because
it is a concern within the nation, and he is
treating it as such priority. I have given him
an extension of two weeks because he has
not completed his investigation over the period
of one month. So I have given him two weeks
more to complete the investigation."
The investigation is being carried out under
the supervision of acting ACP Ainsley Garrick.
Williams had also insisted that no preferential
treatment would be given to the Prime Min-
ister, or to any group or individuals reportedly
involved in the matter.
Williams had initially denied knowledge
of the discovery of "five grammes of a 'plant-
like material' resembling that of marijuana"
being found at a gazebo on her premises two
years ago. Persad Bissessar had also denied
any knowledge of the incident.
Former national security minister Jack
Warner had said that on Friday, April 12, 2013,
former deputy commissioner of police Mervyn
Richardson came to the Parliament and
informed him that a packet containing four
ounces of marijuana was found outside a
window of the prime minister's private res-
idence at Phillipine.
Hackett gets interim report on leaked Special Branch memo...
Seven more days
to complete probe
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger
Gaspard, SC, has issued a warning to the media
over pre trial publicity in the case of 11 men
charged with murder of former special State
prosecutor Dana Seetahal, SC.
Gaspard gave the warning yesterday in a press
release issued exactly one week after the group's
lawyer Criston J Williams made a plea for his
(Gaspard's) intervention on the issue during their
first court appearance before Chief Magistrate
Marcia Ayers-Caesar, in the Port-of-Spain Eighth
Gaspard's advice to the media also comes after
both Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley spoke exten-
sively on the case at their respective political meet-
ings last week.
Stating that the accused men are presumed
innocent until proven guilty, Gaspard said: "The
recent appearance in court of those charged with
Ms Seetahal's murder and the heightening of the
public's curiosity, the passing references to this
matter on the political hustings and the political
season, all make for a dangerous medley and
accordingly, I have a legal duty to remind you that
you are not to publish any material which has the
potential to prejudice either the State's rights or
the rights of the accused persons to a fair trial.
Even as he warned that any infractions to his
warning may lead to contempt of court proceedings
for offending media practitioners and organisations,
Gaspard acknowledged that the media has a major
role to play in ensuring the smooth running of
the criminal justice system.
"As always, I give this directive being mindful
of the fine balance that must be struck among
the considerations which inform a fair trial, the
rights of the State and the invaluable democratic
function that the press perform, especially within
a desireable system of open justice," Gaspard said.
Reputed gang leader Rajaee Ali, his brothers
Hamid and Ishmael and eight members of Ali's
family mosque in Carapo, Arima-brothers
Devaughn and Stephan Cummings, Ricardo Stew-
art, Gareth Wiseman, Kevin Parkinson, Leston
Gonzales and Roget Boucher have all be charged
with murdering Seetahal on May 4, last year.
The group will reappear before Ayers-Caesar
on August 24.
pre trial publicity
Probe into alleged ganja find at PM's residence ongoing---Williams
Marli folk singer
the Pan African
PAN AFRICAN CONCERT
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