Bring the Irwin Hackshaw file to my office.
This is the written directive given by Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard SC to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith regarding the “completed” police file of the criminal probe into suspicious bank accounts belonging to Assistant Commissioner of Police Irwin Hackshaw.
The June 19 letter was sent one day after Griffith at a police media briefing announced that the Hackshaw file would be sent to the DPP only after the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) finished its investigation.
Contacted on June 24 by the Express, Gaspard confirmed he had written to Griffith for the file. To date, the file is yet to reach the DPP’s office and investigators did not seek advice from the DPP’s office before or during the criminal probe into Hackshaw as is the norm with high-profile investigations.
On May 28, Griffith announced that police had closed the investigation into Hackshaw and they had found no evidence of criminal conduct.
On June 8 at the weekly police media briefing, Griffith announced that the file on Hackshaw was to be sent to the DPP to ensure complete transparency in the Police Service and its investigations. Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob and Supt Wayne Mystar were also present.
The Sunday Express reported on June 15 that the file was yet to be sent to the DPP’s office.
On June 18 at the police weekly media briefing, Griffith said the Hackshaw file would be sent to the DPP only when the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) sent its completed file to the police.
“We will wait till the PCA file is completed and it comes to us. How many investigations are we going to continue to have on one matter? The police did one, the PCA did one, and now what? The DPP will do one? If it is closed, I am not trying to regurgitate something else. We will wait till the PCA completes their investigation and, when that is done, then we can decide,’ Griffith said then.
Hackshaw meanwhile remains under investigation by the PCA into allegations that he had deposits close to $2 million in his personal bank accounts.
There were over 180 deposits amounting to $1.8 million spread over 18 RBC Royal Bank accounts, with more funds in an account at Scotiabank and the Unit Trust Corporation. Hackshaw is scheduled to officially retire from the service in September.
A report of the investigation submitted by the police stated, following an interview with Hackshaw, he explained that some of the monies were earned from private security consultancy services and were donations given to him by businesses to assist with police functions.
President of the TTPS Social and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA), Insp Gideon Dickson, who sat at the head table with Griffith during the June 18 media briefing had said he believed Hackshaw was the subject of a ‘witch-hunt’ by the media.
“We believe a witch-hunt is being conducted in relation to Mr Hackshaw. We support due process, and Mr Hackshaw who is a member of the TTPSSWA is therefore innocent until proven guilty,’ Dickson said. He noted that the TTPS had conducted its own investigations and there was no criminal evidence against Hackshaw. And while the association respected the PCA and that it was doing its own enquiry, Dickson said he believed this investigation may have been “contaminated” by the actions of its officials.
“We are aware the PCA would have sent versions of the incomplete investigation to the PSC (Police Service Commission) and the Commissioner of Police and we believe that this contaminates any investigation. We feel it places bias in terms of a prejudicial outcome and we have records to show the PCA would have labelled officers as the biggest gang in T&T. So it comes across suspiciously,’ Dickson had said.