President Ali denies that he attempted to influence Police Service Commission to promote “his people”

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Though not denying that he made contact with the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Paul Slowe thrice between September and December, 2020, President Irfaan Ali, on Monday, said he never attempted to influence the promotion of certain senior police officers within the Guyana Police Force.

“I find it convenient and opportunistic that Mr. Paul Slowe would make the accusation that I tried to influence him and the work of the Police Service Commission. This is not only far from the truth, but it is a malicious attempt to change the narrative,” the President said.

The Head of State issued a statement on Monday hours after Slowe, during a press conference, accused him of lobbying for Senior Superintendents Calvin Brutus and Fazil Karimbaksh to be promoted notwithstanding the fact that disciplinary charges have been instituted against them for misconduct.

Slowe told reporters that the President subjected him to a meeting on September 16, 2020 to make a case for Brutus, and Karimbaksh to be promoted. He said the president subsequently called him later in September and then in December, 2020 with the last phone call being very uncordial.

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He [the President] wanted to know why ‘his people’ Brutus and Karimbaksh were not on the shortlist…It was a rough conversation, raised voice, very angry and then the conservation was terminated, the president terminated the conversation,” Slowe said as he detailed aspects of a conversation he and the President had on December 23, 2020, hours after the Police Service Commission had shortlisted a number of senior officers of the Guyana Police Force for promotion.

Though not addressing the issue of the phone calls, the President admitted that he did meet with the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

“Mr. Slowe, like other independent commissioners, the judiciary, and I had a meeting. At that meeting, I raised various concerns with him that were brought to my attention without prejudice,” the President said.

He said it is his desire to see these Commissions function professionally and independently.
According to the President it is Slowe who has brought into disrepute the name of the Police Service Commission.
“If Mr Slowe is saying I tried to influence him, where are the results of that influence? Where is the result? It is clear as day that Mr Slowe is bringing the independence and professionalism of the PSC into question when he aligns the PSC with opposition member of Parliament Ganesh Mahipaul and retain Opposition members of Parliament Roysdale Forde, Khemraj Ramjattan, Raphael Trotman, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Amanda Walton Desir to institute proceedings against the Government of Guyana.

This action of Mr Slowe is what he should explain. How can an independent commissioner align himself with a political party and a political party member’s action against the government? Where is the independence? It is therefore not only opportunistic but a total lie that my meeting with Mr Slowe was to exercise any influence. This level of distortion and public mischief by the Chairman of this Commission exposes his leadership and alignment. My meeting with Mr Slowe was within the first few months of my Presidency, more than eight months ago; the question is, why only now? I guess his unprofessional exposure and links are making him desperate.”

Just days before the High Court was expected to rule on the case brought by Brutus, challenging the promotion of certain senior police officers, the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU), for which Karimbaksh heads, instituted charges against Slowe, and eight others for conspiracy to defraud the Guyana Police Force of $10M. Slowe has refuted the allegation and has vowed to take legal actions against the state.



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