Another day and yet another twist in what is quickly becoming the chronicles of Port- of Spain South MP Marlene Mc Donald.
In the latest development Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has rubbished any credibility in revelations that one of his officers leaked plans to arrest the then Public Administration Minister to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar.
The disclosure was made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in the Parliament on Monday evening during debate on the Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2019.
He put on the Hansard record that Persad-Bissessar tipped off Mc Donald about her impending arrest.
“I didn’t know Marlene Mc Donald was going to get arrested but one month before she was arrested the Leader of the Opposition could have called her to her office and tell her she was going to be arrested,” the Prime Minister told Parliament.
But in an interview with Guardian Media yesterday Griffith expressed a degree of conviction that if there is any truth to what Persad-Bissessar reportedly said to Mc Donald then she got the information from “a very good fortune teller”, “because several weeks before there was absolutely nothing in any form of fashion that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service were sure that a Member of Parliament was going to be arrested.”
Griffith said prior to the decision to arrest Mc Donald there were consultations with the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as a Queen’s Counsel.
He said up to three days before the arrest no officer, himself included, knew of the intended action.
“It is absolutely impossible that anyone could of made such a statement and be accurate about it because several weeks before there was nothing remotely close to going ahead to confirm any MP was to be arrested.”
The Police Commissioner also said that he has conducted an internal probe and was assured by his officers that no such breach occurred. He asserted that at this time and with the little information available it is the most he could do.
“The most that we could do is for us to speak to the relevant heads of the units which were involved in the investigation to verify if there was any leak that took place and if they had any information pertaining to such and at this time there is no such information that we have to verify that this actually took place.”
However, Griffith said that if any politician has information to share, he is willing to listen and if any officer is found to have committed the offence the relevant disciplinary action will be taken.
Since the Prime Minister’s statement Persad-BIssessar has not made any public statements on the matter.
But Mc Donald has given her version of events to the media.
She told Guardian Media that she has a history with the Opposition Leader as well as Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh. She explained that they went to law school together and they have a lot of respect for each other.
The Port- of- Spain South MP said that when Persad Bissessar spoke to her she knew it was coming from “high up.”
She said she had “no doubt” in her mind that the Opposition Leader was speaking the truth and she had no reason to doubt her.
Mc Donald added that following the conversation she discussed the matter with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and National Security Minister Stuart Young.
On August 7, Officers of the Fraud Squad swooped down on McDonald’s home at Valley View, Mara-cas, St Joseph, where they executed a search warrant and took away several items.
This was in connection with six-year-old investigation into the alleged siphoning of over $1 million from a government ministry to three organisations linked to family and friends of the then Public Administra-tion and her husband.
Four days later, Mc Donald was charged with seven criminal charges, including misbehaviour in public office, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
Mc Donald, her long-time companion Michael Carew, Wayne Anthony, Victor McEachrane and Edgar Zepherine have appeared before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court to answer a total of 49 charges.