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Monday 20 May 2019
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Gary: PSB will probe Jaagriti raid

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

COMMISSIONER of Police Gary Griffith is seeking information from all sides involved in the recent visit to Radio and Television Jaagriti by police officers seeking evidence after last Monday’s broadcast of controversial remarks about Tobagonian men by Maha Sabha head Sat Maharaj.

The Media Association of TT (MATT) had alleged “heavy-handed and unprofessional conduct” by the police whom they accused of not having a search warrant, and said the Constitution protected media workers from intimidation. Griffith had replied that the police presented a warrant and were respectful to Maharaj who in turn provided a copy of his broadcast. In reply, MATT had stuck to its position and said it had no role to investigate the different versions of events, which was a police duty.

By Saturday, Maharaj had threatened to sue the police (and Telecommunications Authority of TT,) alleging junior officers were “extremely hostile and aggressive,” despite a photo circulated by the police of him with Insp Wayne Stanley that he said the latter had requested. Maharaj had said the officers said they were acting under the Sedition Act, but had shown no warrant.

This Monday, Griffith updated Newsday on the police’s position.

“I have contacted MATT and explained that even though a lot of what was said was flawed and they were wrongly advised because you would have seen a warrant was issued, there was no ‘raid’ and Mr Maharaj was very accommodating...However, it does not mean that mistakes may not have been made.

“Unlike MATT which only takes one side of the story, I would like to see all views. I only have the police side of the story and I have asked MATT if they could submit some type of correspondence voicing exactly what were the concerns of the MATT officials who work at Radio Jaagriti. I will have it thoroughly investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau. I must ensure a degree of transparency and accountability in the Police Service for each and every person who may have been aggrieved by our action as the Police Service on any matter.”

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