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Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

Akash Samaroo

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says if Drugs Sou-Sou founder Kerron Clarke now feels like his life is under threat, then he should blame it on the person who leaked what was supposed to be a confidential phone call and not statements he (Griffith) made subsequent to that conversation.

“During that conversation between four persons, Gary Griffith did not send information to the media through that recording taking place, neither did Mr Mark Bassant, who was also in that conversation, so if anyone is concerned now about his life now being at risk, it is not based on any comment made by myself or the other person in the media but whoever was that slimy character that decided to do a recording of that conversation without my permission, although I knew it was being done and having that sent to a media house, that person should be held responsible,” Griffith told Guardian Media yesterday.

Griffith was responding to Clarke’s claims during a press conference on Wednesday that his life was now under threat following media reports on the ongoing T&T Police Service probes into the DSS’ operations. Clarke called the briefing after police raided his La Horquetta headquarters for a second time on Tuesday and seized $6.4 million and other documents related to the DSS operations.

The Commissioner said during that conversation, which included himself, Guardian media investigative journalist mark Bassant and another person, Clarke himself gave him (Griffith) sensitive information relating to the investigation.

Griffith confirmed the four people on the call were himself, Bassant, Clarke and a “confidential informant.”

Guardian Media understands it was Clarke himself who requested to have a conversation with the Commissioner.

“Only Mr Clarke could explain why he keeps shifting the goalpost. Why he made requests to see me, meet with me, want to converse with me, ask for a firearm and then some slimy character records it without my permission,” Griffith added.

Griffith, who cut his Ireland vacation short and returned to the country on Thursday to deal with the DSS probe, also reiterated that he does not regret his personal involvement in the matter, or being on the call himself. He said his personal touch is what generates public confidence and his style has led to many cases being solved.

“So why should it change? Obviously, there are elements that would try to use that opportunity to try to pull me down as Commissioner of Police, which is why I would be very careful how I speak with individuals not knowing who they are. This was no different, every single time I converse with anyone I take it that I am being recorded but it will not stop me,” Griffith said.