March 2, 2007
Police officers take polygraph tests

The law enforcement agencies must be free from criminal pollution – and a system of polygraph (lie detector) testing has been instituted to ensure that this is accomplished.

Speaking at the Thursday, February 22 sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that stemming from things uncovered through information given by Alex Lawrence, the measure was implemented to ascertain the depth of corruption in the law enforcement agencies.{{more}}

“We have instituted a system of polygraph tests and some members of the security services have failed the polygraph test,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said.

He said however that “by far” those who took the test passed.

Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves said that the Ministry of National Security will address the questions as a result of the tests and other measures implemented.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Lenroy Brewster told SEARCHLIGHT that the polygraph tests were conducted by experts from overseas and will be part of a continual program that is in operation.

“We can’t give out much details but it is all dealing with National Security,” Brewster said.

In his address to the House, the Prime Minister said that all that he had spoken of was also shared with the Leader of the Opposition, Arhnim Eustace.

Alex Lawrence was released early from a 22-month drug conviction after he gave the authorities “reliable” information about a plot to murder two persons, two unsolved murders and a ring of corruption in the prison service among other things, the Prime Minister revealed.

Lawrence’s release sparked much controversy, and Eustace, who was given information regarding the circumstances surrounding his release from prison had led a campaign demanding that the Prime Minister give more information to the public on the matter.

It was also revealed that the New Democratic Party’s PRO, Attorney-at-Law Vynnette Frederick wrote a letter on Lawrence’s behalf which contained the information that he wished to share with the authorities. The Opposition had refuted Dr Gonsalves’ claims that the information in the letter was of a National Security nature.

Prime Minister Gonsalves resisted giving any more information on the issue, but said in Parliament last Thursday that certain developments now made it possible for him to reveal aspects of the letter written by Frederick.