The perceived war between Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and Trinidad Express investigative reporter Denyse Renne has now taken a legal turn.
This, as the top Cop has threatened to sue the Express newspaper’s parent company, One Caribbean Media Limited (OCM) over a report Renne did on his handling of the firearms user’s license (FUL) applications.
In a pre-action protocol letter sent late last week, Griffith claims that Renne defamed him in the October 25th report, which alleged that a FUL had been issued to a person with convictions for illegal firearms.
Griffith’s lawyer Joel Roper said, “These allegations against the COP are defamatory as they insinuate that the COP is dishonest, facilitates criminality by supplying criminal offenders with firearm licenses, and is biased in favour of donors to the T&T Police Service (TTPS).
Such inferences connote the COP as being unreliable and incompetent to act in his capacity,”
“Moreover, there is no justification or truth to such allegations and Ms Renne has not advanced any evidence in support of same,” he added.
Roper noted that after the initial report, his client issued a detailed press release addressing the issues in the interest of transparency. However, the newspaper still published another erroneous and malicious report the following day.
Roper said these attacks on the COP have adversely affected his personal and professional reputation, which prior to Ms Renne’s statements have been unblemished and impeccable.
Griffith is seeking financial compensation for damage to his reputation, a retraction and an apology from the company and an undertaking that similar allegations would not be repeated.