‘Our suspension is illegal’

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Members of the Police Service Commission with former President David Granger

…Conway blasts disbanding of Police Service Commission

President Irfaan Ali has suspended the entire Police Service Commission (PSC), including its Chairman, Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Slowe.

The other suspended members of the Commissioner are:  Michael Somersall, Clinton Conway, Claire Jarvis and Vesta Adams.

In a letter dated Wednesday, June 16, 2021, President Irfaan Ali informed the Commissioners that he has heeded to the advice of the Prime Minister Mark Phillips to suspend them pending the completion of an investigation into their conduction.

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“I have accepted the aforementioned advice and shall establish a tribunal in the manner prescribed by Article 225 which shall inquire into the matter and report on the fact therefore to me and recommend whether you ought to be removed from office,” the President said in a letter addressed to Commissioner Conway.

The further stated: “In the circumstances, you are hereby suspended with immediate effect from performing the functions of member of the Police Service Commission pending the establishment of the aforementioned tribunal.”

When contacted by Village Voice News on Wednesday evening, Commissioner Conway, who also served as an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the decision to suspend him and other Commissioners is “unconstitutional.”

He told this publication that his lawyer will respond appropriately to the President’s letter.

The President’s decision comes weeks after the Prime Minister had asked the members of the Police Service Commission to show cause why they should not be removed from the Commission given their involvement in a constitutional matter brought against the Government by the Opposition.

The Police Service Commission (PSC), in a joint submission filed through its Attorney Selwyn Pieters, had explained to the Prime Minister that there is nothing unconstitutional about its involvement in the constitutional matter brought by A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament Ganesh Mahipaul challenging the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, and as such there is no basis for the removal of the PSC’s Chairman and or Commissioners.

“There is no basis whatsoever to recommend an investigation into the Chairman and Commissioners’ proposed removal from office. No wrongdoing has occurred, and indeed no legal wrong is disclosed in the Show Cause Notice itself, which is exceptionally vague, lacking in specificity, and nakedly political in nature.

The Commission, as an independent constitutional body, is well within its rightful powers in participating in the Mahipaul Action as an applicant, since it was adversely affected by the Appropriation Act of 2021 and the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act Cap. 73:02 with respect of the Fiscal year 2021,” Pieters said on behalf of his clients.



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