Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday shrugged off any suggestion that there would be negative fallout from his admission that he was the “high-ranking” Government official who met with former Police Service Commission (PolSC) chairman Bliss Seepersad on the Commissioner of Police merit list last August.

However, he has denied interfering in the PolSC’s process to select a CoP.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister was reported to have admitted that he met with Seepersad last year in order to give her information that eventually led to her rescinding the Commissioner of Police merit list after handing it over President Paula-Mae Weekes.

However, when contacted on the issue yesterday, Rowley shrugged off the suggestion that this was news.

“Did you not hear me say that I am the only person from the Cabinet who, to my knowledge, meet at President House?” he asked.

On August 12, Seepersad had already provided the Commissioner of Police merit list to President Weekes when, according to reports at that time, she (Seepersad) subsequently pulled it back after meeting with a “high-ranking” Government official.

Yesterday, while admitting he met with Seepersad, Rowley denied he interfered in the CoP selection process.

“Since when is ‘providing pertinent information’ to a Service Commission interference?” he asked in response to questions from Guardian Media.

“So I don’t know what this mystery ‘high-ranking official’ was all about,” the Prime Minister added.

“I also said that if I ever have any information pertinent to the business of any commission, then I will not hesitate to make that information available to the relevant commission.”

Rowley insisted he would also never interfere with an independent body.

“I have never and will never tell them what to do but they certainly must have the information that is pertinent to their functions,” he said.

“That is my understanding of ‘independent commission’ and I have the support of the Privy Council in my interpretation.”

This issue had dominated the media and the public sphere for months after an internal letter from one former PolSC member, attorney Roger Kawalsingh, was leaked and referred to the private meeting with an unnamed high-ranking government official.

In that letter, Kawalsingh also accused Seepersad of acting unilaterally regarding Griffith. By the end of September, the entire PolSC had quit and there had been many calls for the Prime Minister and the Office of the President to clear the air on who met with Seepersad.

While the Prime Minister remained vague about who met with Seepersad, he did say that he “carried out his duty” with regards to the Griffith appointment.