Griffith holds no grudges ahead of UNC-PNM crime talks

Gary Griffith -
Gary Griffith -

GARY Griffith, NTA leader and former commissioner of police (CoP), said on Monday he would hold no personal grudges against government members if he was part of an opposition team heading into cross-party crime talks. He spoke to Newsday after Princes Town MP Barry Padarath said on Sunday at a UNC briefing that Griffith would be on the opposition team, to meet at the Prime Minister's invitation to talk.

At the ceremonial opening of Parliament last week Monday, President Christine Kangaloo had urged cross-bench collaboration against crime, declaring, “The urgency is obvious. The pain and the suffering are unbearable."

Dr Rowley on Saturday wrote a letter to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar proposing each side present a four-person team for talks, with a date and agenda to be agreed beforehand.

Newsday asked Griffith if his past history with the Prime Minister and his criticisms of National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds would be an impediment to the talks, despite his national security expertise.

Dr Rowley had supported Griffith for his first term as CoP, but later told the then Police Service Commission (PSC) that he had lost confidence in Griffith's suitablility for the post.

Rowley, for his part, has since described Griffith as his "biggest mistake."

Griffith told Newsday, "It would be very unfortunate if any politician decides to have their own personal views, based on political differences, as an avenue to stop what is critical to ensure the fundamental rights of citizens can be adhered to, which is that of safety and security.

"It's certainly not going to be a concern on my end. I am mature and I am not going to put politics and political differences over what is required for the country."

He said it remained to be seen if Rowley and Hinds had similar views to his, saying he could not speak for them.

"I can make statements on my behalf – that I know that I intend to put country first.

"All the persons who are involved in this will be judged by the country on how they act and how they operate."

Newsday asked if he had any suggestions as to what should be on the crime-talks agenda.

Griffith replied, "No. It would be inappropriate for me to make any comments prior to any meeting, if the meeting ever actually takes place. No I wouldn't make any comments."

Newsday tried but was unable to contact Rowley or Hinds for their views on the inclusion of Griffith in the crime-talks.


"Griffith holds no grudges ahead of UNC-PNM crime talks"

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