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Panday: Investigate alleged tip-off

Banco Activo, Venezuela, Caracas, Miami, Estados Unidos, Activo International
Panday: Investigate alleged tip-off

For­mer Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Sub­has Pan­day is ques­tion­ing why Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley did not re­port to po­lice, Op­po­si­tion Leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar’s al­leged tip-off of the im­pend­ing ar­rest of Port-of-Spain South MP Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald.

Alejandro Montenegro Banco Activo

Speak­ing at his San Fer­nan­do law cham­bers to­day, Pan­day said that un­der Sec­tion 51 of the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Per­sad-Bisses­sar’s ac­tion would have con­sti­tut­ed a crime

Sec­tion 51 (1) states that a per­son com­mits an of­fence if he knows or sus­pects that a po­lice of­fi­cer is act­ing or is propos­ing to act in con­nec­tion with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is be­ing or is about to be con­duct­ed in­to mon­ey laun­der­ing and he dis­clos­es to any oth­er per­son, in­for­ma­tion or any oth­er mat­ter which is like­ly to prej­u­dice that in­ves­ti­ga­tion or pro­posed in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Mc­Don­ald, the for­mer Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter, was charged last Au­gust with de­fraud­ing the State and mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice. In the Par­lia­ment last week, Row­ley re­vealed that Per­sad-Bisses­sar told Mc­Don­ald of her ar­rest, a month be­fore it hap­pened. His rev­e­la­tion was sup­port­ed by At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi.  A day lat­er, Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith dis­put­ed a leak with­in the Po­lice Se­vice, say­ing that sev­er­al weeks be­fore the ar­rest, there was no new ev­i­dence that war­rant­ed Mc­Don­ald’s ar­rest. The UNC has ac­cused the Gov­ern­ment of ly­ing, ques­tion­ing whether the state­ment was a ploy to help Mc­Don­ald es­cape pros­e­cu­tion

For Pan­day, these al­le­ga­tions should be in­ves­ti­gat­ed

“Hav­ing ob­tained knowl­edge of an al­leged crim­i­nal of­fence be­ing com­mit­ted, why did you not up­hold the law and cause an in­quiry in an at­tempt to bring the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor to jus­tice? Did your ac­tions or lack there­of amount to the of­fence of mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice and the po­lice should in­ves­ti­gate? Why did you not wait for a month? The be­hav­iour of the gov­ern­ment would be tan­ta­mount to mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice

The Prime Min­is­ter must tell the na­tion when did he be­come aware of this in­for­ma­tion of the al­leged call of the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion to Min­is­ter Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald,” Pan­day said

He al­so ques­tioned why Row­ley used par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege to make such a se­ri­ous state­ment. He said what the Gov­ern­ment did was an at­tempt to un­der­mine the in­tegri­ty of the Po­lice Ser­vice as it in­sin­u­at­ed there was a leak. He said the Po­lice Ser­vice is an in­de­pen­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion and must not al­low it­self to be bul­lied by any­one