Griffith claims conspiracy to hound him out of office

Gary Griffith. File photo/Ayanna Kinsale
Gary Griffith. File photo/Ayanna Kinsale

Suspended acting Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has raised fresh claims of an orchestrated conspiracy against him by senior police and government officials to get him out of office, with the possibly that he could end up facing a trumped-up criminal charge.

Griffith's lawyers are set to challenge the Police Service Commission's (PSC) notice suspending him.

He claimed on Monday that two candidates shortlisted by the PSC for the position of Commissioner of Police are directly supervising a criminal investigation into allegations of bribes being paid for the granting of firearm user's licences under his tenure.

He claimed another shortlisted candidate made reference to the criminal charges against former CoP Randolph Burroughs in a WhatsApp post as a warning to Griffith. In the late 1980s, Burroughs left office in disgrace after he was charged with conspiracy to murder, but the case fell apart in the High Court.

Under Griffith's tenure, more than 5,000 gun licences have been issued and over 100 civilians are licensed to carry semi-automatic weapons. This is a stark difference from what obtained under former CoPs, when on average 200 licences were issued annually, mainly for civilians to carry handguns and shotguns.

In a previous interview, Griffith said the semi-automatic weapons were issued to people who are involved in the sport of target shooting.

Acting on claims that people were paying substantial bribes for gun licences, and the mushrooming of gun dealers and shooting ranges across the country, the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the Prime Minister, in December appointed a retired Coast Guard commander and former head of the Special Branch to investigate.

A copy of the report was later shared with the PSC, which in turn appointed retired Justice Stanley John to investigater.

Griffith said on Monday the "orchestrated plot" to try to smear his name started with the NSC's appointment of the two-member committee. He claimed that only one member signed the confidential report, which was later leaked to the Express even before it was seen by the Police Complaints Authority, the Professional Standards Bureau, the Financial Investigations Branch, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Special Branch.

In a letter from Justice John, which Griffith disclosed on Saturday, the former judicial officer said no police officer was under investigation in his probe.

Meanwhile the PSC's attempt to recruit a substantive CoP was halted by the High Court after an applicant who failed to gain a place on the shortlist challenged the fairness of the selection process.

Acting CoP McDonald Jacob did not respond to questions about Griffith's claims.


"Griffith claims conspiracy to hound him out of office"

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