In a three-page release, the PSC also stated that findings of such an investigation would form part of a general performance appraisal on both CoP Gibbs and deputy commissioner Jack Ewatski, both of whom are Canadian-born and who were hired on a three-year contract.
The statement indicated it will also examine closely, public statements of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which appears to differ from CoP Gibbs’ utterances regarding the closure of the investigation against Warner.
“We shall be writing to the Commissioner of Police on this matter,” stated the PSC release which came after the Commission, led by Criminologist Professor Ramesh Deosaran, held its statutory meeting yesterday. Efforts to reach CoP Gibbs and DPP Roger Gaspard for a comment proved futile.
The release confirmed that the Commission’s meeting yesterday was to discuss, among other things, the closure of the Warner investigation. “The Commission wishes to make it clear that the decision to close a police investigation is within the prerogative of the Police Service and the Commission has no part to play in such a decision,” the release stated.
However, the release pointed out that by Section 123 (1) (d) of the Constitution, the PSC is empowered to, “monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the discharge of the functions of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of Police.”
In reference to complaints by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley over the dilatory pace at which the Warner investigation was concluded, the PSC said that pursuant to Section 123 (1), it referred Rowley’s letter of complaint to CoP Gibbs for comment. By letter dated March 21, Gibbs informed the PSC that, “on the advice of the DPP, no further action can be taken in this matter.”
According to the PSC’s release, by letter dated May 7, it communicated Gibbs’ position to Rowley. Despite being cleared of bribery allegations, Newsday understands that Minister Warner is still being investigated by the Customs and Excise Department over allegations of breaches to the Exchange Control and Customs Act.
But sources within Customs and Excise told Newsday that the probe may very well end soon as investigators are getting no cooperation from persons who previously indicated a willingness to assist in the probe against Warner.
The police and Customs probes against Warner, stemmed from allegations made after Warner brought then FIFA executive Mohamed bin Hammam into this country for a meeting of regional football leaders sometime on or about May 10, 2011. At that time, Hammam was bidding to unseat Sepp Blatter as president of world governing body for football — FIFA.
Hammam has since been kicked out of FIFA and Warner, a FIFA vice-president, has since quit that football organisation. Last week, DPP Gaspard stated that he told police that investigations should be continued against Warner in the context of the Customs Act.
He also made it clear that at no time did he clear Warner, but noted that the police were advised that no further action could be taken due to a lack of evidence.
At a press conference yesterday at the Port-of-Spain office of the Opposition Leader, PNM and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said the Opposition is patiently waiting to see what decision the PSC would take.
Recalling the PSC’s letter of May 7, sent to him, indicating the DPP advised, “no further action can be taken in this matter”, Rowley reiterated this was at odds with public statements by DPP Gaspard that he gave no such advice to the police.