Police Commissioner’s termination hearing postponed

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By Elesha George

Legal representatives for suspended Commissioner of Police, Wendel Robinson and the Police Service Commission (PSC) will resume a hearing to determine the Commissioner’s fate on Thursday, November 14th, 2019.

This was decided after the initial hearing on his termination was held on Friday, October 25th, 2019.

The final decision on Robinson’s termination from his post as Commissioner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) and the Fire Brigade, was expected to be handed down this Thursday, October 31st, 2019. However, OBSERVER media was reliably informed that Robinson had submitted a “sick certificate” and requested “more time” so that he could answer to each specific allegation made against him in a letter from the PSC.

When our newsroom contacted Robinson concerning the outcome of last Friday’s hearing, he only divulged that “doctors have advised me to stay away from stressful environments for the next three weeks.”

In its October 15th letter, the PSC claimed that its reason for firing the Commissioner of Police was a matter of “public interest”, and listed a number of infractions to support its claim.

The termination letter was reportedly issued to the Commissioner, approximately two to three weeks after his lawyers had filed an interim application for his immediate reinstatement to the post.

The litany of hearings all began on April 5th, 2018, when Robinson was suspended indefinitely after two officers under his charge reported allegations of sexual misconduct by the Commissioner. In May 2018, Robinson’s lawyers filed a ‘without notice application’, asking the High Court to grant him leave to file for judicial review of his suspension.

By October, 25th, 2018, High Court judge, Justice Godfrey Smith quashed the PSC’s decision, ruling essentially that it acted unlawfully when it suspended Robinson. However, one day later, a second suspension letter was issued via Robinson’s lawyers, this time stating that he had been charged upon review of the original claims by the Commission.

The PSC said Robinson would remain on suspension pending “the outcome of internal disciplinary charges of discreditable conduct under Section 105 of the Constitution”.

Six months after having received letter number two, Robinson’s lawyers filed for judicial review to challenge the second suspension. His lawyers then filed yet another judicial application since no response from the Commission had been forthcoming. That is the application, which OBSERVER media understands, had been served on the PSC about three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, when OBSERVER media contacted PSC Chairman, Kelvin John, he appeared to have hung up the phone before we had a chance to verbalise our questions.

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