ACTING Commissioner of Police James Philbert yesterday assured that a controversial affidavit containing allegations made by the Jamaat al Muslimeen leader Abu Bakr involving Prime Minister Patrick Manning “will receive full attention” and be investigated by the police.
“If a judge sends something to be investigated it will be investigated,” Philbert said. “Whatever they send, it will be investigated and given full attention.”
Asked if the Prime Minister could be questioned over the affidavit, Philbert would not reveal details of how the matter would be handled. Asked if the issue would be dealt with as a matter of priority, he said, “I am sure you know the answer.”
Philbert spoke in the wake of High Court Justice Rajendra Narine on Friday ordering that a controversial affidavit which Bakr filed in sale proceedings brought by the State against Bakr, be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police Commissioner for consideration. The affidavit had been struck out of the proceedings, after the matter was taken all the way to the Privy Council.
The 26-page affidavit set out details of alleged meetings and conversations which Bakr had with members of the PNM over an alleged agreement made on the eve of the 2002 General Elections. The Privy Council stated: “The whole purpose of this (alleged) agreement was to obtain electoral advantage for one political party, the PNM by means of using State property and as such it was clearly illegal.”
According to Narine in his judgment, “these are the pronouncements of the highest court in this jurisdiction. Yet as far as the court is aware, no action has been taken by the appropriate authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of these allegations.
“Having regard to the extremely serious nature of the allegations, I am directing the Registrar of the Supreme Court to forward a copy of the affidavit to the Acting Commissioner of Police and the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions for their consideration.
“The court is confident that the relevant authorities will carry out their constitutional duties without fear or favour. In recent times there have been investigations and prosecutions of persons in high office. The guiding principle has been that no one is above the law, regardless of his position.
“It is imperative, in the interests of preserving public confidence in our independent constitutional offices, in our criminal justice system and in our democratic system of government, that this matter should be afforded the urgency and transparency which it deserves.
“I wish to emphasise that I express no view, and I make no finding with respect to the truth of the allegations contained in the affidavit,” Narine ruled. He also ordered Bakr’s property be sold by public auction in the action, which aimed at recouping damages which the Jamaat were ordered to pay in 2001 in relation to the destruction of public buildings during the 1990 attempted coup.
In CoP hands
“We got it (the affidavit) in May and sent it to the Acting CoP. I was aware of what the Privy Council said and forwarded the affidavit”
Dookeran: I wrote PM 4 months ago
Political Leader of the Congress of the People (COP) Winston Dookeran has said he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Patrick Manning four months ago, calling on him to refute allegations contained in an affidavit of Jamaat-al-Muslimeen head Yasin Abu Bakr.
Jamaat debt crosses $40M
The debt owed to the State by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr and the Jamaat al Muslimeen, to date, for damage to property during the July, 1990 attempted coup is more than $40 million.
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