FORMER commissioner of police Gary Griffith wants the Stanley John report on the granting of firearm users' licences under his watch.
On Wednesday, Griffith’s attorney Larry Lalla wrote to Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman, retired Justice Judith Jones, asking for a copy of the report, which was published in the Sunday Express on January 23.
The report was commissioned by the former Bliss Seepersad-led PSC. John, also a retired judge, was tasked with inquiring into allegations of corruption in the issuance of FULs during Griffith’s tenure as commissioner.
The Sunday Express publication quoted the John report as purportedly describing the process as “a thriving, well-oiled, white-collar criminal enterprise.”
Lalla said this was of concern to his client.
He said the article quoted the report and also referred to comments by a senior government minister that a copy was sent to the National Security Council.
“This probably explains the course and motive of the leak,” Lalla said, adding that if it was true, the question that arose was how the John report, being a report commissioned by the PSC, an independent body under the Constitution, could “make its way to the National Security Council, a sub-committee of the Government."
Lalla also asked how this could happen before the PSC communicates with Griffith about it, as the substantive holder of the office of Commissioner of Police at the time the report covered.
“On the face of it, does this lead to an interference of bias/improper motive/ mal-intent/ a breach of due process by the maker of the report?” Lalla asked.
He said considering that the John report had been submitted and received by the PSC, and found its way to the media, with “with very serious and damning allegations being made against my client in his professional capacity,” he was formally requesting a copy “…so that I may advise my client on any appropriate cause of action in relation to this report whether by way of judicial review or by way of defamation against persons publishing same.
“Judge, my request for a copy of the report is given great weight and merit by the fact that, assuming the contents of the report as published by the Sunday Express are accurate, Mr Justice John proceeded in his report to make findings of improper and even criminal conduct against my client without affording Mr Griffith or paying due regard to Mr Griffith’s basic due process rights.”
Lalla said they believed before John arrived at his findings/conclusions against Griffith, they should have been presented to the former top cop “with a reasonable opportunity to respond.
“This simply was not done.”
Lalla also referred to and provided a copy of a letter from John to Griffith which said, “I wish to reiterate that my remit does not involve an investigation into your good self as CoP acting nor any police officer."
“We were therefore flabbergasted to see the trust and extent of the findings/conclusions that Mr Justice John made in his report against the former commissioner as published,” the letter to Jones said.