Henry Greene forced out after rape allegations
Embattled Commissioner of Police Henry Greene’s resignation has been finalized;
ending months of speculation over his continued tenure as the country’s Top Cop in the face of rape allegations made by a 34-year-old mother of two.
While senior government officials have declined to confirm Greene’s departure, Greene was offering ‘no comment’ to queries from various sections of the media.
The latest call for his ouster came from former Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand, who was responsible for piloting the new Sexual Offences Act of 2010.
Manickchand, who is now Minister of Education, is the highest ranking government official so far to call for Greene to step down.
Yesterday, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee refused to confirm reports of Greene’s resignation, advising that the administration was likely to issue an official statement on the matter.
He also advised this newspaper to contact Greene himself.
Two days ago Rohee said that the jury was still out on Greene’s return to the top police post.
Acting Commissioner Leroy Brumell also declined to comment when approached by this newspaper.
Greene, who is over the age of retirement, had been on administrative leave since December 17, last year, to facilitate the investigation into the allegation made against him.
In what eventually turned out to be the scandal of the year, the 34-year-old woman alleged that she was raped by the Commissioner of Police at a city hotel.
The woman alleged that she was forced to have sex with Greene after she was induced with cash and a promise to assist her in a matter that is presently engaging the attention of the police.
Greene had dismissed the woman’s claims as mere allegations and had declared that god will be his judge, although he later admitted to having consensual sex with her.
Following weeks of investigations by a team of detectives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, under the supervision of Crime Chief Seelall Persaud, the Director of Public Prosecution advised that Greene be charged with rape.
However, Greene successfully got the High Court to overturn the DPP’s advice with Chief Justice Ian Chang ruling that the decision to charge Greene was irrational.
Greene’s admission to having consensual sex with the woman was another major bone of contention, since it is being argued that he used his office in an improper manner.
The first to call for his resignation was his predecessor Winston Felix, who had told the media that it would have been the most honourable thing to do.
Felix’s call was followed by others from the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers and other women’s groups, and the main opposition political parties, the Alliance For Change and A Partnership for National Unity.
In December last year, AFC leaders Raphael Trotman and Khemraj Ramjattan called for Greene’s immediate removal from office.
“As a matter of fact, based on what we have heard, we feel that he ought to tender his resignation or the President ought to dismiss him….but at the very least at this stage… an interdiction,” Ramjattan had stated.
Trotman, commenting on the issue had declared that the matter was the first real test for newly elected Head of State Donald Ramotar.
The Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) had also condemned Greene’s actions and had called on the administration to remove him as the Commissioner of Police.
“It is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Greene has in fact lost the moral authority to lead the Guyana Police Force and should therefore no longer be required to so do,” the GAWL said.
APNU had this to say: “In renewing our call we wish to remind the Guyanese public that having passed the age of retirement Mr. Greene is no longer the constitutional holder of the office of Commissioner of Police rather he is an employee/servant of the Government and as such he can be removed forthwith.”
This is not the first time that Greene’s name has been embroiled in a controversial issue which has threatened his tenure as the country’s chief lawman
In fact, his first day on the job, six years ago, was greeted with the announcement that the United States of America had revoked his visa to that country.
The Bharrat Jagdeo Government did not budge and retained him even in the face of severe criticism from several sections of the society.
They later argued that the decision to appoint Greene as Commissioner of Police was justified when, at the helm of the force, he presided over the demise of the infamous Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins and his criminal gang.
Greene’s tenure as the Commissioner of Police was extended after he had reached the age of retirement three years ago.
|Written by Denis Scott Chabrol|
|Sunday, 12 February 2012 17:17|
Jamaican and Guyanese investigators did not find sufficient evidence to prove a clear case of rape against Police Commissioner, Henry Greene but they had recommended that he be dismissed, according to well-placed sources.
At the heart of their position were several inconsistencies by the 34-year old woman who has accused him of rape. Among the inconsistencies, Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) was told, was the duration of the sexual intercourse ranging from 45 minutes to four hours.
A hearing into court action brought by Greene to block police from charging him for rape is scheduled for February 20, 2012 before Chief Justice Ian Chang.
The source noted that the investigators recommended that Greene be removed from office because of indiscretions while being the Police Commissioner. The team frowned on the fact that he had sexual intercourse with someone who had gone to him for assistance. At the same time, the varied accounts by the woman did not provide the team with a clear-cut case to support her allegation of rape.
The constitution provides for the removal of a Police Commissioner if he or she is deemed unfit to remain in office. Greene has already reached retirement age.
The Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) and the opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) have said that by Greene’s own admission he should no longer remain in office. The Guyana government has also expressed concern.
Greene, in seeking a High Court order to block police from charging him with rape, has already pointed out that his lawyers have not seen all the statements that investigators have obtained from the woman.
The Police Commissioner wants the High Court to quash the advice by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that he be charged and block Acting Police Commissioner, Leroy Brumell and Assistant Commissioner, Seelall Persaud from charging him.
Other sources say the allegation by the woman might have stemmed from Greene’s failed promise to assist the Victoria, East Coast Demerara-based woman to complete construction work on house where he had taken her after what he said was “consensual” sexual intercourse with her at a city hotel.
A team of senior Jamaican police officers had visited Guyana to work along with their local counterparts in conducting the investigation. Greene remains on special leave.
The Police Commissioner, himself a Caribbean-trained lawyer, has stated in his Originating Notice of Motion that “When we arrived at her home she identified her mother who was on the verandah. She also showed me an unfinished building which she said was her own. After she identified her home he told me that she was sure I can use my influence to get back her phone to her.”
Greene wants the court to find that the DPP’s advice was “irrational, unreasonable, unfair, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect.”
“The applicant ought not to be prosecuted for the offence charged in as much as the evidential test that there is sufficient evidence to provide a “realistic prospect of conviction” was not met,” according to the Originating Notice of Motion.
Attacking the credibility of the complainant, he said she was the subject of a police investigation into extortion.
He has, however, conceded having sexual intercourse after she had told him that she wanted to meet him socially. They, according to the Police Commissioner, did so on November 22, 2011 at the Police Officers Mess and later agreed to go somewhere private.
Greene has denied having a gun in possession on that date, disputing the woman’s claims that he had a gun in his possession while at the hotel.
The Police Commissioner said the complainant had gone to him to ascertain progress in investigations into an allegation against her on November 15, 2011. She later returned on November 22 to follow up on her original inquiry and sought Greene’s intervention in gaining access to a cellular phone to acquire a number for friends in Trinidad.
Greene recalled telling her that doing so was impossible because the matter was still the subject of an investigation and that she would have to await the DPP’s decision.
FEBRUARY 2, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
By Dale Andrews
Lies, deceit, blame throwing are terms that characterize the case of the murdered Demerara Bank
employee, Sheema Mangar.
And investigators, being urged to forget their ultra reliance on the results of forensic tests and press on with their investigation, are admitting that they have reached a dead end and nothing can be done unless new evidence emerges.
It’s been more than a year since Mangar was dragged to her death by a car in which the man who had snatched her Blackberry phone was escaping and her mother, Radica Thakoor, has almost given up hope that local police will solve the case given the distrust she has developed.
Amidst all the misleading information she has been fed by those in authority, Thakoor is convinced that only a completely new approach where witnesses are sought, will lead to some satisfactory conclusion of all the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death, including the identification of the killer.
Samples of what appeared to be blood and a piece of fabric found on the two cars that were impounded did not match the victim’s DNA and clothing respectively.
“The police are to be blamed. Why wait a whole year relying on just the samples?” the mother asked.
According to the woman, the police kept telling her that they were waiting on the results of tests being done on the samples, as if that was the only aspect of the investigation that was important.
“They had built my hopes up and everywhere you go they were telling you they were waiting on the samples. They appeared so positive that that would have led to something, now we are back to square one,” Thakoor added.
She said that she could not believe her eyes when she read in the papers that the tests on the samples were negative.
One detective who was handling the matter initially put it in perspective, noting that solving a crime lies with the investigators.
He explained that after Mangar’s death, police had impounded two cars which crime scene technicians examined for evidence that could connect them to the crime scene or the victim.
On one vehicle a piece of broken hair was found while on the other vehicle a piece of green fabric was recovered.
Mangar’s uniform she was wearing the day she died had a greenish tint, so investigators had to consider the possibility that the piece of fabric could have come from her uniform.
A red spot was also identified on one vehicle and was collected as a suspected blood stain.
The detective pointed out that the investigation suffered a setback in the initial stages since Sheema Mangar was not accompanied to the hospital by a police rank, “therefore if she was able to make a dying declaration, no police rank was there to record what she had to say.”
Additionally no one was present at the hospital to collect her clothing, consequently only the jacket of her uniform was collected.
“She may have been wearing under garments, but these would have been discarded along with her skirt as the medical personnel focused their efforts on saving her life. The possibility of matching the green piece of garment recovered from the car to her clothing was therefore limited to a comparison with just the jacket she was wearing,” the detective explained.
A point to consider was the fact that the police had impounded two vehicles, on which they found what appeared to be blood stain and a piece of cloth.
But now that the results of those tests have returned negative, any hope of conclusively connecting Sheema Mangar to any of the vehicles disappeared.
So why all the controversy?
First, some senior officials of the Guyana Police Force assured the victim’s family that the Barbados laboratory had promised to deliver the DNA results by January 2012. We are now in February.
Secondly, when the negative results were eventually received from the DNA profiling of the suspected bloodstains, the police informed Mangar’s relatives that their analyst who was sent to Barbados forgot to take the hair samples with him. However this newspaper was informed that the analyst had deliberately left it behind since it had no root and therefore there was no way that the Barbados laboratory could have done any conclusive test.
Then the administration had given the impression that the crime could have been solved by a laboratory test in Guyana or Barbados, when in fact this turned out not to be the case.
“Crimes are solved by investigators, and the reason why the samples were sent to Barbados was in the hope that they may prove to be similar to those taken from the crime scene or the victim’s uniform so as to breathe new life into the investigation,” the detective told Kaieteur News.
He said that, in the meantime, investigators must shoulder the responsibility for seeking out eyewitnesses who can provide an accurate description of the vehicle involved, including if possible, the registration number, and also a description of the assailant.
Interestingly, the vehicle impounded were both Toyotas but different models- one an AT 192 and the other an AT 212. This clearly suggests that investigators are not too sure what type of vehicle was involved in the crime in the first place and there is definitely need for a more precise description of the vehicle involved.
For her part, Mangar’s mother does not intend to give up since she believes that there is still someone out there who could assist the police.
“Even though she cannot come back, I hope my efforts will bring about change in the way the police do their job,” Thakoor said.
From the Diaspora… FIRE THIS DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS NOW
By Ralph Seeram
On my recent visit to Guyana, I made it a point to question some fellow Guyanese on their thoughts on justice in Guyana. It was certainly not a scientific survey, but never the less I came away with the distinct impression that generally they have no confidence in the Judiciary, do not trust the Police and have a very low opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack.
This kind of public perception is not healthy for the Rule of Law. The Police, Judiciary and the office of the DPP are the main institutions in the implementation and observance of the Rule of law.
Public perception seemed to be that there is a double standard when it comes to implementation of justice in Guyana. As one person told me “It is who you know and money talks”. It is no secret that most Guyanese felt that the Jagdeo Government was corrupt.
The new President Donald Ramotar promised to root out corruption. He certainly did not make a good start when he retained some Ministers who the public perceived as corrupt. True, he did take initiatives to restore some confidence, like bringing outside investigators for the Commissioner of Police – Greene’s sex accusation case.
If the President wants to regain public confidence in the justice system in Guyana he can start by firing the incumbent Director of Public Prosecutions. In fact, I was surprised he retained her considering the many accusations against the DPP’s office.
I am yet to see any “big drug baron” prosecuted. Despite the intense expose in Kaieteur News of corruption in the Jagdeo regime, did we see any government official charged? The DPP did find the time to “hang” charges against three former NBS senior managers. The matter ran for over two years and was dismissed because in the first place there was not really any case against them. Rumour was that it was a politically motivated case.
One can go on to point out more instances of selective prosecution by the DPP office. However actions by the DPP in the ongoing sex scandal involving an Islamic Cleric, who is accused so far or raping nine young boys, necessitate the removal of Shalimar Ali-Hack from that office immediately.
I am sure most Guyanese believe the police, when they said someone from the DPP’s office intervened when the Cleric was arrested. I don’t know how much credence the public put in the statement by Shalimar Ali-Hack that she did not make the call.
Even if you want to give her the benefit of the doubt, did she make any effort to see if anyone from her office tried to subvert the course of justice? Was any inquiry made to ascertain who made the call? There is no question that the DPP and her husband have a very close relationship with the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG), the employer of the Cleric.
She may know or even interacted with the individual, and as such she should have indicated that she would recuse herself from the matter. Did she do that? And what is all this back and forth nonsense between her and the police about who can bring charges against this accused child molester.
Any other “John Public” would have been charged and given no bail already. Why is this child molester running around free when strong medical evidence has emerged that some of these boys have been raped anally.
I am also incensed at the media for not publishing the perpetrator’s name. Why is he also being protected by the press? Publish his name. To use the press motto, the public has a right to know. Do we know if he is Guyanese or a foreigner?
Next you might hear he is out of the jurisdiction. He also needs to be incarcerated for his own safety. There are quite a few very disturbed and angry fathers out there that would like to get their hands on him.
I will tell you the truth, if that had happened to my son, that so called cleric would have been in very great danger for his life and I am sure that thought must be passing through the minds of the victims’ parents.
If President Donald Ramotar is really serious about restoring Guyanese confidence in the justice system, he can start by dismissing Shalimar Ali-Hack, and replace her not with a “political hack” no pun intended, but with someone who will bring integrity, efficiency and impartiality to the Office of the DPP, an attorney who will not bow to the dictates of politicians, nor to the rich and powerful.
That’s not much for the people to ask. Think about it Mr. President.
An Open Letter to Minister Clement Rohee
JANUARY 25, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Dear Minister Rohee,
I arrived in Guyana with the full expectation that something unpleasant may happen to me. I took the necessary precautions, avoided taking unnecessary risks and was very vigilant during my entire stay there. But I did not go to Guyana to be locked away indoors. I intended having a good time, and that I did.
However, just when I thought my fears were unfounded, I was selected for some special treatment… courtesy of the Guyana Government.
As planned, I arrived at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) early for my return trip home to New York. At the check-in counter, I was informed almost apologetically by the Caribbean Airlines employee that I had been “Selected by the Government of Guyana for a Secondary Security Search (SSSS)”. The young lady was so professional in the way she made the announcement, it almost sounded as though I had won the lottery jackpot.
This instruction, I was told, came directly from the Government of Guyana and had nothing to do with the airline. My two suitcases were tagged with the initials “SSSS”. A dog sniffed my luggage, and they were thoroughly inspected by airline security and a second time by a police detective from the CID. Before reaching the Departure Lounge, I was searched a third time, and yet a fourth before departure. There, I was again thoroughly searched, complete with a body pat down as if they were desperate to find something on me. They were disappointed I’m sure. I was the last passenger to board.
But it did not end there; upon my arrival at JFK Airport in New York, I was horrified to see stickers on both my suitcases, with instructions to “Call Security”. Whoever was responsible for putting my name on the blacklist at CJIA, is guilty of exercising a wicked abuse of power, designed to harass and intimidate me, and get US Border & Customs officials to do the same, by implying that I am in possession of some illegal substance.
The entire paragraph above was written last March 2011 after I had returned from Guyana, where I celebrate my birthday. You may recall that event, for we met briefly at Palm Court. I was advised against publishing the letter, because I was told it may be an isolated case. But the fact that it’s happening every time I travel from Guyana, proves to be deliberate. For since then, I have been the victim of harassment every time I depart CJIA.
Although I’m no longer subject to the intense Secondary Security Search, the “Call Security” stickers are still placed on my baggage tags, resulting in my luggage being opened and searched in Trinidad where my valuables are being stolen, and again at JFK Airport in New York.
I know that these “Call Security” stickers originate in Guyana, because unlike last March when Caribbean Airlines changed planes, forcing New York bound passengers and their luggages to disembark, I did not change planes in Trinidad last August on my return trip from Guyana. As such, my luggage was not taken off the plane there. But when I arrived in New York, the “Call Security” stickers were there. Both suitcases had notices placed inside advising me that they were opened and inspected by US Customs & Homeland Security.
Of course, they found nothing, and nothing was stolen. But this confirmed my suspicion that my gold jewelry and other valuables that were stolen from my suitcases last March, was by one or more customs officials in Trinidad. And they were given the green light to do so by someone in the Guyana Government who authorized placing those stickers on my baggage tags.
As you are aware, Minister Rohee, I was recently in Guyana for a week, and attended the opening of Parliament there. When I departed CJIA last Monday, I was relieved at not being unduly searched by airport security. When the plane touched down in Trinidad, although there was no prior indication from Caribbean Airlines that New York bound passengers had to disembark there, once again we were told to do so to accommodate a change of aircraft.
I was fearful of this, but I had taken the precaution in Guyana of putting all my valuables in my carryon bag. One suitcase was totally empty, but the other filled with clothes, shoes, and a few items that if stolen, I could afford to lose.
When I finally arrived at JFK in New York, I was once again very annoyed to see that my full suitcase was opened and those dreadful “Call Security” stickers plastered on my baggage tags.
When I got home, I realized that the hook on the zipper of my expensive suitcase was broken, apparently it was easier to break that than to open the lock, and two sealed bottles of my expensive colognes were stolen: Dolce Gabbana and Gucci Guilty. The colognes can easily be replaced, but I can never lock my US$400 Samsonite suitcase again. It is now useless for travel.
I cannot continue taking these loses and harassment every time I visit relatives and friends in the land of my birth. And to be quite frank, there are very few, including yourself, and Commissioner of Police Henry Greene, who has the authority to dictate whose names are placed on the blacklist at the airport.
As such, I call upon you and the Police Commissioner to make public any incriminating report, document, photograph or audio evidence that would suggest Harry Gill to be a risk to the nation security of Guyana, or the national security of any other nation. I further give you permission to make public anything in your files that would suggest Harry Gill is known by the Guyana Police of being involved in any criminal or subversive activity.
But I am confident this will never happen. For my only crime, Sir, was to call for your resignation and that of Police Commissioner Henry Greene in some of my previous letters.
No one should be allowed to use his/her position in Government to intimidate and harass any citizen for voicing their opinion.
The security of CJIA falls under your portfolio. You must be aware of all the names that are blacklisted at the airport, even if you did not put them there yourself. You must know the culprit that maliciously put my name there.
I therefore call upon you, Minister Rohee, to delete my name from that list forthwith, or publish the reason it is there. In any event, I want some assurance that the next time I visit Guyana, I will not suffer the same harassment and personal losses whenever I’m forced to change planes in Trinidad, and if I get this assurance, there would be no reason for me to consult a leading attorney in Guyana to have this simple, personal, vindictive matter cleared up once and for all.
The actions of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office and the DPP herself, Shalimar Ali-Hack, in allegedly attempting to intervene in the case concerning allegations of sexual assault on little boys by a Muslim scholar is nothing less than stomach-churning if it is indeed true.
It should be noted that this is not the first time the DPP would have worked injustice instead of justice concerning the lives of the nation’s citizens.
In fact, the primary reason the NBS fraud case against three innocent men was allowed to wreak havoc on their lives for so long is because the DPP made sure a Preliminary Investigation [PI] was conducted even against the ruling of a magistrate and it is certainly no coincidence that the PI took years to complete.
Now that justice for these young children is in her hands, the police are claiming the DPP instead rose up to protect the alleged perpetrator? These actions do not equate to justice, but to yet more nauseating cronyism. The on-going injustice and widespread nepotism is making people sick.
President Donald Ramotar promised the country to put corruption high on his agenda. If that is in fact the case, it would seem the DPP office would be a perfect place to start rooting out those who are corrupt.
How many Guyanese have suffered so the DPP and her friends can do as they please? How many more Guyanese must be crushed while she makes a mockery of justice?
The process of justice in Guyana has been called into question many times recently for so many reasons. There are the three citizens being held for treason for over a year now. We have yet to hear anything on whether Police Commissioner Henry Greene is to be charged for sexual assault, though the file was to be given to the DPP this past week.
What about Odinga Lumumba’s assault on a polling official? This assault was more than cowardly attack against a woman; it was also an assault against democracy during a national election. When he assaulted this election agent, he assaulted the nation. Where is the justice that his woman and the nation deserve?
Will the nation see justice when Kwame McCoy goes to court in February over the alleged assaults by him against two people during the campaign season? If you asked anyone one the street this question, the immediate response would be in the negative. The people no longer believe in justice – and for good reason.
It is time to clean up the justice system. The tainted office of the DPP and the allegations against he top cop (again) show the depths to which the justice system has been dishonoured. Imagine a DPP office that attempts to cover up a sexual assault against children and a Police Commissioner who is being accused of sexual assault at gunpoint!
President Ramotar should be ashamed to call these the top officials of Guyana’s justice system.
|Written by Kwesi Isles|
|Wednesday, 14 December 2011 15:18|
The woman spoke to the media on Tuesday saying she feared for her life.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has called for the dismissal or at least interdiction from duty of Commisioner of Police Henry Greene following Tuesday’s rape allegation against him and is viewing the matter as the first real test of the Donald Ramotar administration.
The 34-year-old mother of two spoke to reporters at her attorney Nigel Hughes’ office where she recounted that she had gone to Greene for assistance with a matter involving another police officer with the outcome being him raping her at a city hotel.
Commenting briefly on the allegations against him at the Annual Police Awards Ceremony on Wednesday Greene stated “Let God be the judge; suffice to say I’ve sought legal advice in that matter.”
At the AFC’s weekly news conference on Wednesday party Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan called for a “very intense investigation of the allegation and at least Greene’s interdication at this stage.
“Based on what we’ve heard we feel he ought to tender his resignation or the president ought to dismiss him, but at the very least at this stage an interdiction,” Ramjattan stated.
He noted that there has been no denial from Greene that he had sex with the woman and added that even if it was consensual it was an abuse of his office since the woman went to him for assistance.
“If it was any other person like yourself … having an allegation like that made by a woman you would have already been locked up long time and probably with no bail for several weeks,” Ramjattan added.
AFC Leader Raphael Trotman meanwhile stated that the interdication call was not unreasonable since Greene heads the agency which will in effect be investigating an allegation made against him.
“It is the man who is in charge of the investigating agency and one need not have to extrapolate and go into any details on how that investigation could be compromised. It’s not a citizen relating to the police it’s the police dealing with itself and its most senior officer and so common sense, best practices and the transparency of the investigation demand that he be interdicted immediately at least and like Khemraj I believe that he should be dismissed forthwith because I don’t see the man tendering any resignation.”
According to Trotman, the issue is the first real test for Ramotar.
“Is he president or is he a weakling, because if the most senior police officer in Guyana could break the rule of law or be accused of doing it and nothing happens it defines his presidency in my view from today going forward,” he stated.
Trotman said he is holding the president “personally responsible” on the matter and added that the nation and the world is looking on.
“I saw a senior diplomat today and it was the subject of discussion, how will this government handle such an accusation. He is entitled to due process, he’s entitled to the rule of law but as Khemraj rightly said if it was one of us we would have already been taken down, refused bail and charges would have been processed by tomorrow morning by the DPP; let’s see what happens.”