John to report on gun licences next week

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith.
Former police commissioner Gary Griffith.

RETIRED Justice Stanley John told Newsday on Friday he will present his report on the issuing of firearm user's licences (FULs) to the new Police Service Commission (PSC) next Tuesday.

"It will be delivered on Tuesday next," he said. John said that date would be within the agreed deadline.

Asked if he had anything to say about the report, John said, "Not at this stage. Thanks again."

In September, the PSC under its then chairman Bliss Seepersad, commissioned John to investigate allegations of a corruption racket involving the sale of FULs said to involve certain senior police officers, gun dealers and firearms instructors, plus other matters of concern.

The issuing of 5,000 FULs in the past three years as compared to a previous average of 200 per year had led the National Security Council (NCS) to appoint retired Rear Admiral Hayden Pritchard and retired Snr Supt Arthur Barrington to investigate and report.

Those findings were sent to the Seepersad-led PSC, which then hired John to do the PSC's own independent investigation.

However, by September 30 all members of the Seepersad commission had resigned over the imbroglio over the suspension and then stepping aside of then commissioner of police (CoP) Gary Griffith to facilitate the FUL probe. A court ruling that Griffith had not been properly named as acting CoP, not having been given Parliament's nod, plus the PSC's collapse, meant no one could yet be named as acting or substantive commissioner. The police service is now being led by DCP Mc Donald Jacob.

Last Tuesday President Paula-Mae Weekes swore in a new PSC, raising the prospect of a new CoP. The PSC members are: retired judge Judith Jones (chairman), management consultant Maxine Attong, criminologist Ian Kevin Ramdhanie, accountant Maxine King and attorney Rajiv Persad.

On September 15 in the House of Representatives the Prime Minister told Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes that it was the PSC which had hired John, not Dr Rowley as PM nor as chairman of the NSC.

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is also doing its own independent probe, having appealed to the public to send information to its hotline at 315-7610 or e-mail

When Newsday asked on Friday when the PCA report would be ready, PCA head David West said, "It is still being investigated, so I can't give you a timeline."

Asked what will happen to the report ultimately, he replied that it depended on what the report finds.

West said if the investigation finds any evidence of a criminal offence, police corruption or a disciplinary offence, the report would be sent to the CoP and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

If no offences were found to have been committed, the file would be closed, he added.


"John to report on gun licences next week"

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