Pressure mounted on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday to dismiss her National Security Minister Austin 'Jack' Warner over the existence of "an illegal Flying Squad" operating in Trinidad and Tobago.
Former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, in a radio broadcast, disputed statements by Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar that she did not know of the existence of the squad, questioning whether as chairman of the National Security Council (NSC) she wanted the country to believe that the "illegal Flying Squad" was operating without the knowledge of law-enforcement authorities.
"Is she really telling us that as head of the Security Council she knew nothing about it?" Maharaj asked in his statement, adding "this is a blatant untruth".
No knowledge of squad
On her return from attending the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Inter-Sessional summit in Haiti last week, Prime Minister Bissessar said she had absolutely no knowledge of the existence of the squad within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, adding the matter had also never been discussed at the NSC which she chairs.
Persad-Bissessar said that there have been headlines "suggesting that some persons may have erroneously perceived a sanctioning of the infamous Flying Squad of the past.
"I have already directed the minister of national security to prepare a full report on this matter for the attention of the National Security Council and myself as chairman of the council.
"What I can categorically state at this time is this matter of any 'new' Flying Squad was never discussed with me or brought to the National Security Council," she said, adding "any such initiative as a revival or creation of any such police unit must be reviewed by the NSC and must be fully considered and endorsed by the commissioner of police, who is himself a member of the council".