T&T police close to end probe into 'marijuana' find at former PM's home

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Police say they hope to conclude by the end of this month, an investigation into the alleged discovery of a"plant like material" resembling marijuana at the private residence of former prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar two years ago.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Glen Hackett told a news conference Wednesday that “this matter will be completed before the end of November 2015.

Investigations into the plant like material found at the residence of former prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, the investigator, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ainsley Garrick has informed me that he has only recently received statements from two key persons through their attorney with respect to this matter,” Hackett told reporters..

In July, Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said he had given a two week extension of the probe that started in June, insisting that no preferential treatment was being given to Persad Bissessar, who was prime minister at the time. Williams had a month earlier said as head of the Police Service since 2013 was not aware of any drug find at the Persad Bisessar’s home.

Persad Bissessar has denied any knowledge of the incident, which came to the public attention after the Trinidad Express newspaper carried a front-page story in which former national security minister Jack Warner was quoted as saying 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 Persad Bissessar’s private residence at Phillipine, south of here.

Warner has since submitted a statement dated June 6, 2015 to Justice of the Peace Anthony Soulette with the allegation.

He said after he was approached by the former senior police officer, he summoned the then leader of Government Business Dr Roodal Moonilal, who advised him to contact the Persad Bissessar who was in the United States at the time.

Warner claimed when he contacted her, she was surprised and inquired whether she should return home immediately and resign.

He claimed further that he advised Persad Bissessar not to resign as he, Richardson, Moonilal and former national security adviser Gary Griffith would cover up the marijuana matter.

All three men have denied any knowledge of the incident.

In June, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) said it too had launched its own investigation to determine whether there was any criminal misconduct by police officers into the alleged discovery.


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