Police Commissioner Gary Griffith. Photo Credit: Facebook/Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
POLICE Commissioner Gary Griffith is recusing himself from an investigation into allegations of data mining by the former People’s Partnership Government.
The investigation is to be spearheaded by acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Jayson Forde.
In a statement on Thursday, Griffith said that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPA) will try to interview whistleblower Christopher Wylie who has alleged that the previous People’s Partnership Government used data mining to gather information on the behviour of citizens and for political purposes.
Griffith was a national security minister under that regime.
In his statement Griffith said:
The Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith gives the assurance that unlike the ‘email gate’ investigation, which was prolonged for several years before completion, these accusations made by Mr Christopher Wylie, would be swiftly addressed.
At this present time, the only person of interest in this matter is Mr Wylie, as he is the only one who has made comments alluding to possible criminal misconduct.
His comments would mandate that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) meets with him to establish if a crime did take place, if he is an accessory to that crime, and if others could be culpable.
At this time, the TTPS has absolutely no evidence to verify that any crime was committed, and all that is in the possession of the TTPS is a book with Mr. Wylie’s claims.
The Commissioner says further, to these accusations “I have recused myself from this matter, and I have tasked representatives of the TTPS, led by Ag DCP Forde to meet with, and seek the existence of any supporting evidence from Mr Wylie. This team will depart as early as this weekend if Mr Wylie is contacted and agrees to be interviewed by the investigative team.
The chain of events would be as follows:
- Efforts would be made today to contact Mr Wylie and seek his agreement to be interviewed this weekend.
- If Mr Wylie refuses to cooperate with the TTPS, the claims then cannot be substantiated and then it would lack merit and the matter would be closed.
- If he is willing to, the Officers would travel to the United Kingdom this weekend to conduct the extensive interview.
- It is only then that the TTPS would be able to ascertain if what Mr Wylie has stated and whatever material he can produce, would warrant an investigation to be launched in relation to possible criminal activity.