Monday, 30 November 2015

Capil Bissoon's "Trinidad and Tobago Police Service A Biased Dinosaur"

Commentary: Trinidad and Tobago Police Service a biased dinosaur
Published on;November 17, 2015
By Capil Bissoon

Last week, senior officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) confessed words to the effect that many serious ongoing investigations may never be completed. Among those investigations are emailgate and a plant-like substance found at the former prime minister's residence.

What a joke!

Every Tom, Dick and Harrylal is questioning whether it was the truth when the former leader of the opposition came to the Parliament more than two years ago with emails purporting to show that then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar conspired, among other things, to kill a journalist.

Now in any normal country, the Cyber Crime Unit would examine the former PM's emails and conclude within a matter of days, if not minutes, whether the basis for the allegations were true

Did the alleged emails correspond to the contents of the forer PM's emails?

If "yes" then the former PM was guilty of conspiracy to murder – plain and simple. If "no" then the former leader of the opposition was guilty of lying.

That would have been a game changer in the last elections.

Why could the TTPS not say that Dr Rowley lied and further investigations based on his allegations were ongoing? Is it not entirely possible that whoever concocted the emails (a considerably creative individual) also concocted corroborative evidence that the DPP's office was bugged?

By not giving a simple, straight, honest answer to whether or not the emails were false, the TTPS was guilty of being a major component of the PNM's election campaign.

The same arises with the plant-like substance found interestingly by a "Special Branch Officer" in the compound of the former PM.

Are the top brass of the TTPS aware that the overwhelming majority of the 300,000-plus UNC supporters, and many other right thinking citizens, firmly believe that rogue elements in the TTPS planted the false evidence in the first place?

They remember a similar incident years ago when persons unknown attempted to frame Sadiq Baksh, then a UNC government minister, with cocaine.

Is the TTPS aware that many believe that it was rogue elements in the police service who planted the cocaine in Mr Baksh's water tanks?

It is clear that the TTPS is perceived as an active and efficient party group of the ruling PNM.

How else does one explain a police raid on the command office of the UNC in Chase Village on the eve of this year's September 7th general elections?

Police claimed that they were searching for arms and ammunition.

They found none.

It is alleged that the five hours spent at the Chase Village UNC Command Centre was really a covert exercise to extract sensitive data from the 50 computers to pass to the PNM.

Would the TTPS ever in their wildest dreams regardless of the evidence (false or otherwise) raid Balisier House? No commissioner of police, acting or otherwise, would dare think about or authorize such a search. Have they ever done so since 1962? Is the PNM holier than the city of Jerusalem?

By their public acts of commission and omission, the TTPS appears to be biased towards the PNM.

Recently, a reputable international agency described our police service as "unreliable".

We in the UNC know that from painful experience and would add "biased" to that description.

Meanwhile, the TTPS is asking for an additional 500-plus officers in this year's budget. This is really an exercise to provide jobs for the PNM boys and girls.

Yet our TTPS cannot tell us whether or not the emails read out in Parliament by Dr Rowley were the figment of someone's fertile imagination.

To use police lingo, "Enquiries are still being conducted."

I stand corrected but I am advised that, on a per capita basis, we have five times more police than major cities in developed countries. Their murders are much less and crime detection rates considerably higher.

Less than four days ago, Paris suffered a major attack allegedly by the ISIS in which 132 persons were killed. Already two persons have been arrested in Belgium. I guarantee the perpetrators will be brought to justice within a reasonable time frame.

Ostrich-like, the TTPS ignores the ISIS peril even as we have 30 or more citizens fighting in Syria. We will wake up one morning and find POS on fire and then, like headless chickens following the Abu Bakr coup, the TTPS will mount an inadequate and belated response.

Whilst all this happening, ambitious souls in the UNC are caught up in an unsightly and nasty power struggle while thousands of party members are being fired by the Rowley-led administration.

Many base supporters are asking "why"? Power trumps the interest of party members.

Cry my beloved party.

Capil Bissoon is a Trini-Canadian looking on at Trinidad and Tobago politics from a distance.

Originally published in the Trinidad Express
Republished with permission.

Mr. Bissoon's logic is somewhat baffling.

While we agree that the TTPS is hopelessly incompetent and rife with corruption, in addition to being (and I will use here some of our former blog admin's favourite TTPS labels such as) "a dysfunctional schizophrenic entity", "the largest organized criminal enterprise in the country" and the one I like most of all, "a confederacy of DIGs (Dunces in grey) led by DIKs (Dunces in Khaki)", I hasten to remind him that these are all traits that Mrs. Ali Baba and her gang of 40 thousand thieves welcomed, made full and unashamed use of and benefited tremendously from throughout the last five years.

From the first day of her administration to the very last she has been shielded by the police and I do not refer to the protection to which she was entitled in her former capacity.. Even now that she has been shown the door by right thinking citizens and she no longer wields power she continues to be protected by the very incompetence that Bissoon sees as evidence of pro PNM bias on the part of the police.

With regards to "Emailgate", a most nonsensical use of two words coined by the Media, an incomplete investigation or one in which there is no definitive finding ensures that any culpability that Mrs. Baba might have incurred, or any involvement she might have had, wittingly or unwittingly, in the criminal conspiracies revealed in those alleged emails, remains unproven.

Mr. Bissoon says "in any other country the authenticity of the emails would have been confirmed or denied within days, if not minutes". That's true. But it discredits his own argument of pro PNM bias because had that happened the information that would have been obtained from Google might have been very different.

But what did those supposedly (according to Bissoon) pro PNM TTPS DIGs led by their senior DIKs do?

They allowed the good Lady and the attorney general the freedom and luxury of dictating the time, date, place and terms of the surrender of their communication devices. Who knows to what extent those devices could have been sanitized by IT specialists?

Then to confirm and compound the inefficiency with which they began their investigation, they not only took their own sweet time (12 months I think) to approach Google for confirmation of the existence of the email accounts and authentication of the email contents but they limited their request to a very narrow time frame and an equally narrow name search as though actually not wanting to "dig too wide or too deep".

That certainly does not suggest pro PNM/anti UNC bias but just the opposite as any police constable could have armed himself with a search warrant and using the element of surprise (as would normally be done in that type of investigation) he could have gone to Mrs. Baba's residence in the dead of night, searched and turned the place upside down (again, as is normally done) and seized her electronic devices for forensic examination.

The result of that type of timely police action supported by a similarly expeditious approach to Google would have had one of two consequences. Either Dr. Rowley would have faced the appropriate sanction or reprimand for misleading the Parliament, which he eventually did anyhow at the hands of Mrs. Baba and her gang when using their parliamentary majority they kicked him out the chamber a year later for making the allegations, or, Mrs. Baba would have faced public disgrace, criminal prosecution and today would probably still be a guest of the State at Golden Grove.

Clearly, police lethargy and non determination of the "Emailgate" conspiracy continue to be of far greater benefit to Mrs. Baba than to Dr. Rowley.

With regards to the alleged marijuana find at Mrs. Baba's residence. If as Bissoon suggests it was police who planted it there in the first place, who may we ask orchestrated and implemented the cover-up of the find?

Not de police as well?

And two years later, who attempted to cover up the initial cover-up by at first denying the entire incident then subsequently backtracking to admit that "a plant like substance" was discovered at the lady's residence?

Not de police again?

Even today, who still refuses to confirm that the "plant like substance" was marijuana?

Not de same police again?

Police have been busy charging people left right and center every day for the past 50 years for smoking a joint or having one or two in their possession and they have been doing so based on the police officers' ability to immediately recognize and positively identify the substance as marijuana. Now all of a sudden the find at Mrs. Baba's residence becomes a "plant like substance" which they could not identify then and which up to today still cannot be positively identified as marijuana.

So again, who doing dat? Not de same dysfunctional, schizophrenic police again? And who benefitting? Mrs. Baba or Dr. Rowley?

And what became of the lead police investigator in these matters. Where is he today? Is he not the same former deputy top cop who had his leave bought out by Mrs. Baba's government and then given a three year contract for a top paying job in the national security ministry? And he is still denying knowledge of the incident up to today. Is that pro PNM/anti UNC bias?

Again, non-closure of these investigations benefitted and continues to benefit Mrs. Baba and no one else. And if Bissoon thinks that it impacted negatively on the UNC in the general election, he obviously ent know how he own peeple, de party hard-core support base does tink. Like he never hear,


And vote for her, they did, all 300,000 plus of them. But what turned the tide against Mrs. Baba firstly was the image she painted of herself of being a grand master of deception and "the "Mama of all mamaguy" but worst of all, an unrepentant crook. Secondly, right thinking citizens who having accepted that self portrait believed that that crookedness and deception descended to unknown, unimagined and unfathomable depths and that Mrs. Baba was just another in a long line of crooked UNC politicians.

That is why the party lost the election, not because of any one hour of extra voting time that facilitated all citizens and both parties with no exception.

Finally, with regard to the police raid on the UNC's Chase Village command center, surely Mr. Bissoon is aware of the party's track record of voter padding and vote rigging in previous elections? If the PNM receives credible information that such activities are taking place at a particular UNC location, it is entitled to report such information to the police who are then obligated to investigate.

Mr Bissoon can not have forgotten the electoral skullduggery that took place at the UNC's infamous PASU office in Streatham Lodge, Tunupuna during the 1995 and 2000 general elections where devious voter padding scenes were orchestrated and implemented and a number of supposedly dead persons and others from UNC strongholds but with three and four different addresses in different marginal constituencies were dragged before the courts as a result?

The police raid on the Chase Village command office must be understood in the context of the party's history of electoral fraud and criminal misconduct.

The PNM, whatever its many and glaring faults does not have that kind of reputation and while the party is not "holier than Jerusalem City", as Mr. Bissoon rhetorically asks, and sainthood has never been conferred on its leadership, it does conduct itself and the nation's affairs with a degree of class, decorum and discretion that the UNC, whether for wont or want, simply does not display,

Does Mr. Bissoon still question why he was fired by the new government? Does he still feel victimized or wronged?>

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