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Plot was not real

The ministers identified in the alleged plot were Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma and Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal.

The probe, which was led by Supt John Daniel of the North Eastern Division, was wrapped up late last month and the file sent to Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs.

Sources who participated in the probe said the investigation showed there was no physical evidence to support allegations of an assassination and destabilisation plot.

“Should anything pop up it will be looked at. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry,” a senior investigator told the Sunday Express last week.

Attempts to reach Daniel for a comment proved futile as he was said to be attending several meetings last week.

Contacted yesterday Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson, who previously said that the threat was real, refused to comment on the conclusion of the probe.

Richardson said the matter was something he did not wish to speak about given its sensitive nature.

Richardson wasn’t the only person who stated that the threat was real.

Commissioner Gibbs, National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and security adviser Gary Griffith were among those who said the threat was real.

But police investigators say they have not found any evidence to suggest that.

“It was based on hearsay information and nothing tangible,” another officer said.

On November 26, commenting for the first time on the alleged threat, Minister Sandy told the Sunday Express, “The threat is real and I am saddened to learn that some people who ought to know better are trivialising it.”

Sandy’s response came on the heels of statements made by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley during a press briefing at Tower D at the International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain recently.

Rowley described the Government’s response to the alleged plot as “hysterical political expediency”.

On November 24 last year, at a post-Cabinet news briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Persad-Bissessar described the alleged plot as an evil, devious act of treason.

She said the alleged threat was as a result of the implementation of the State of Emergency and limited curfew restrictions which resulted in the seizures of guns, ammunition, drugs and the arrest of hundreds of suspects.

Even though Persad-Bissessar gave the reasons behind the alleged plot, the police have not been able to establish its truthfulness or a motive behind it.

The file on the investigation never reached the office of Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard for advice as is the procedure when police are dealing with high-profile investigations.

“It’s because there was nothing to present or to ask Gaspard for his advice on,” another source said.

“Information was received by the police and we did what we normally do, act on the information and try to determine whether there is truth to it or not, and in this case, there wasn’t and that’s the end of the matter until something new comes up,” another source said.

Asked where the politicians got their information from when they said the threat was real, the police source responded, “That’s a matter for them. You’d have to ask them that question because we haven’t found any evidence which suggests it’s true.”

Even after Persad-Bissessar spoke about the alleged plot, CoP Gibbs, when questioned by reporters, would only say the threat was real and it was being investigated by the police.

Persad-Bissessar disclosed far more information on the alleged plot than Gibbs.

Commissioner Gibbs gave no motive nor disclosed any information relating to the alleged threat even though police had already detained several suspects at that time.

A total of 17 men, all Muslims, were detained under the Emergency Powers Regulations of 2011 but were released without charge hours before the SoE expired on December 5 last year.

Most of the former detainees, among them a police sergeant and a former US soldier, have threatened to take legal action against the State over their detention.

They have all denied knowledge and involvement in the alleged plot.


(Trinidadexpress)


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