“Is the PNM the Police Service?

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THE EDITOR: Is the PNM, once again, usurping the role and function of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service?

According to a story in today’s Trinidad Guardian headlined “Harry demands copy of tape,” acting Attorney General Fitzgerald Hinds is quoted as saying the PNM had received information and a complaint from a citizen “about a most untoward conversation that was electronically recorded between Mr (Harry) Ragoonanan and a bus supplier to the PTSC”.

This has been further compounded by the statement of National Security Minister Stuart Young who described the recording as “the most troubling and suggestions of corrupt practices and behaviour with respect to procurement at PTSC.”

And now, the PNM’s disciplinary Committee, chaired by Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, has been convened to probe three charges of alleged corruption and bribery involving the procurement of PTSC buses.

Under what remit is the PNM pursuing any investigation(s) into any allegations of corruption or misconduct against any individual involving the State?

What is even most alarming is that this so-called disciplinary committee is being headed by a Cabinet Minister who is also the Government House Leader and has been convened at the behest of the Ag Attorney General, ably supported by the Minister of National Security.

Why was the Fraud Squad not alerted to these allegations and all the information at the disposal of Hinds, Young and Robinson-Regis immediately handed over to the Police for an impartial and thorough investigation, free from the political directorate?

And what can such an investigation lead to?

The PNM has no authority whatsoever to render any type of decision in any criminal matter. To pretend that this is just another party matter is disingenuous and wrong.

The PNM has the right to discipline its members but when it involves allegations of corruption then the evidence must be referred to the police.

What the PNM is infact doing is withholding potential evidence of corruption and can be implicated as an accessory to a crime.

One must remember that these co-called “charges” only aroused after Ragoonanan dared to challenge the PNM’s leadership on matters relating to the Government’s acquisition of ferries for the Seabridge.

Whatever the outcome of their so-called investigation, it will always be politically tainted. If their investigation pronounces Ragoonanan guilty, what is the next step; will the PNM forward their report to the police with the so-called evidence which, for all intent and purposes, will be totally convoluted and tainted?

If it pronounces Ragoonanan not guilty, on what basis was such a decision arrived at?

The PNM has always operated at though the Government and all State Institutions are arms of the Party; the long hand of the PNM keeps infiltrating every aspect of Government with unfettered boldness and impunity.

To quote former US President George Washington, “Political parties would be “potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.”

A most pointed statement directed at the PNM.

Capil Bissoon

VIA EMAIL

 

 
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FITZGERALD HINDS

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