THE EDITOR: PCA Director David West writes to the PSC that he recommended disciplinary action against DCP Dulalchan who has been named in at least two allegations. Did the PCA Director also recommend disciplinary action against DCP Harold Phillip when he was found guilty by the High Court of recklessly and maliciously prosecuting his colleague resulting in the State having to pay $400K in damages?
I refer to an article in today’s edition of the Trinidad Guardian captioned “PCA recommended disciplinary action” wherein it was reported,
“The Police Complaints Authority recommended disciplinary action against Deodath Dulalchan—the top nominee for the post of Police Commissioner—but details of the letter have been sealed.”
Dulalchan, the acting Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), has been named in at least two allegations since news of him being the top candidate was revealed last week.
Contacted by the T&T Guardian on the issue of the letter Director of the PCA, David West, said: “I have signed a confidentiality agreement with officers involved in the recruitment process for the selection of a Commissioner of Police and a Deputy Commissioner of Police and therefore I have no comment.”
Apart from Ag DCP Dulachan, DCP Harold Phillip was also a candidate for the position of Commissioner of Police.
I also refer to an article in your edition of July 31, 2016 captioned “Questions over Phillip’s appointment to act as CoP” wherein it was reported that,
“Less than five months after being slammed by a High Court judge for having “acted without reasonable and probable cause” when he was accused of maliciously prosecuting a fellow police officer, Harold Phillip has now been handed the reins of the Police Service.”
On March 15, 2016, in the matter of Harridath Maharaj vs the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, High Court Judge Frank Seepersad ruled that then Inspector of Police (now retired) Harridath Maharaj was maliciously prosecuted for illegal logging by then Assistant
Superintendent of Police, now Deputy Commissioner of Police Harold Phillip.
Justice Seepersad added, “The facts upon which the charges against Maharaj were premised were fundamentally flawed and deficient and officer Phillip’s decision to charge Maharaj without the requisite evidence that was necessary so as to form a reasonable belief in Maharaj’s guilt was in the circumstances reckless and admonished Phillip’s reckless conduct for maliciously prosecuting his colleague.
For his malicious prosecution by Phillip, the State was ordered to pay Maharaj $400.000.
The question therefore arises, did PCA Director David West also conduct an enquiry into DCP Harold Phillip’s conduct which resulted in the State having to pay damages of $400.000?
If he did, what were the results of his investigation; what disciplinary action did the PCA recommend be taken against DCP Phillip?
Did West also forward the PCA’s investigative reports to the PSC on Harold Phillip’s candidacy for the post of Police Commissioner?
If the PCA did not pursue an investigation and/or disciplinary action against Phillip, Director West must be called upon to answer why he overlooked the High Court’s judgment against DCP Phillip which labelled him as being reckless and which found he demonstrated a contumelious disregard for Maharaj’s rights and his reputation as a senior officer who was close to retirement.