By STABROEK STAFF | EDITORIAL | MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2012
As President Ramotar settles into his mandate and comes to grips with his agenda for the year and beyond, nothing will test his freedom of action and sincerity in reforming the security sector like the question of a full investigation into the rampage here of convicted drug lord Roger Khan and whether his activities ensnared senior members of the last two administrations or at worse criminalized them.
It is the proverbial elephant in the room. No other issue can hold a candle to it. Every other security matter will be a jigsaw missing its biggest piece without a true accounting for the Khan penetration of the security apparatus, his run-amok phantom squad and the ease with which he trafficked in cocaine. In his previous roles as PPP General Secretary and as presidential hopeful, like many others high up in the PPP/C and the government, Mr Ramotar did not grapple with the seriousness of the problem. His position then was quite likely in conformity with the stance of former President Jagdeo. Mr Ramotar is now, however, the person in the seat of the presidency and he now has to answer as President.
Whenever they get their act together, the parliamentary opposition will no doubt press the issue of the Khan inquiry and whether this entails a full-blown investigation of all of the violence and carnage of 2002-2008. The parties aside, there would be few independent-minded people in this country who would be opposed to a full-fledged Commission of Enquiry into the Khan reign of terror and drugs. This enquiry must be done for all the people of this country, particularly those who were directly affected by the terror and lost loved ones to the actions of this man who now sits in a US jail instead of having been subjected to the full extent of the law here and possible incarceration at Lot 12 Camp Street. The enquiry must not be seen as a trade-off between the parties or haggled into a reductive undertaking as was the case of the hearing into the allegations against former minister Gajraj.
Indeed, President Ramotar is in pole position to stake out the high ground. He can declare his intention to investigate the Khan period and enable a commission of enquiry with full powers. There may be challenges within his party and administration to it but it would be the right and appropriate thing to do. It is also worthy of note that Minister Ramsammy whose name was mentioned in a US court in relation to the permission for the purchase of spy equipment for Khan’s use has been retained in the Cabinet.
Despite the absence of a criminal investigation here into the many crimes that Khan was alleged to have committed, the disclosures in several cases in New York coupled with the revelations contained in the WikiLeaks cables place beyond any doubt that Khan was allowed to conduct his affairs here without fear of prosecution because of his connections. Where government officials are alleged to have been caught up in these matters the Rubicon has been crossed and the pathway to law and order and just governance has to be swiftly retraced.
Whether the government proceeds with foreign-funded reform of the police force which was so perversely obstructed by senior government members in the Jagdeo administration will not matter much if the nub of the Khan reign isn’t unlocked, understood and extensive walls built to defend against a recurrence.
Ultimately Khan is the one who is answerable. He has thrown in the towel and pleaded guilty. Surely he may now be in the frame of mind where he recognizes the futility of denying his role in the cocaine-spiked bloodshed here. He faces the prospect of being returned here upon the completion of his sentence in the US. He must certainly be aware that he would be a person of enormous interest in any number of murder investigations in connection with which his name has been called but for which there was never any prosecution. He might be prepared to make a clean breast of it and perhaps provide testimony to the Commission of Enquiry. On a state to state basis the Ramotar administration should be prepared to approach Washington on the prospect of having access to Mr Khan in his cell. This as we have said before is a matter that is perfectly in the domain of the President. There need not be any acrimonious parting of ways with the opposition over this matter.
Mr Khan fled here as a fugitive from American justice in 1993 – months after the PPP/C came to power – and at the time of his arrest in June 2006 he had taken over Kaow Island, owned and operated several businesses, had a private army and had been on the verge of securing a forestry lease in the south of Guyana undoubtedly for the continuation of his nefarious business. The collapse of that deal has raised questions about his possible involvement in the killing of Minister Satyadeow Sawh. All of this transpired under thirteen uninterrupted years of PPP/C governance and it is the PPP/C that has to enable its own conduct to be examined. Khan’s free reign was clearly a product of the compromised and broken security sector which the PPP/C never bothered too much about as control of the apparatus was its prime consideration. This commission of enquiry would be not so much about Khan’s mastery of the degraded security apparatus but as to whether government officials or the government knowingly facilitated his ascendancy for whatever reason. This is what President Ramotar’s government needs to get to the bottom of before it can embark on the much needed reforms to the security sector.
The sexual molestation buggery scandal of Islamic scholar attached to Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana continues
The Muslim Scholar accused of buggering children work for Shaikh Moen ul-Hack, who is the husband of DPP Shalimar Ali-Hack.
Police defend delay in charging Muslim scholar in child-sex scandal
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
In the wake of calls for police to charge the Muslim Scholar implicated in a male child- sex scandal, the Guyana Police Force on Tuesday explained that delays are aimed at ensuring proper investigations are done.
The Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) has been quoted by the state-owned Guyana Chronicle as saying that there was sufficient evidence for police to slap charges on the Imam. And in denying interference in the matter, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack has said “the police are free to conduct their independent investigations and to even proceed with the institution of charges without the advice of the DPP.”
But Police Chief of Criminal Investigations, Assistant Commissioner Seelall Persaud told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that the police force’s policy is to secure legal advice to ensure that all investigations are completed before the 45-day statutory limitation period.
He noted that the law gives the police the more than 30-day period within which to conduct its probe, send the file to the DPP Chambers for advice and await word on whether more investigations or details needs to be acquired.
Demerara Waves Online News was told that Mrs Ali-Hack had also laid down a rule that all sexual offences cases must go to her chambers first for advice before charges are possibly instituted.
In the latest saga, a medical examination has proven that one of two other boys have had anal sex. The eight-year old boy alleges that the act was committed by the Muslim Scholar (Mufti). The other claimed that he was fondled.
Medical examinations conducted on four brothers, who have made similar allegations against the man, have confirmed that all of them were sexually assaulted.
The offences were allegedly committed between December 2011 and January by the Mufti at a Section D Turkeyen-Pattensen—based Mosque where they had been attending Arabic and Koran classes.
None of the files has gone to the DPP yet for advice since the allegations first surfaced last week.
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.
DECEMBER 25, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
It’s been more than a week since the Director of Public Prosecutions advised that Presidential Adviser, Odinga Lumumba, be charged and the file on the matter is beginning to gather dust.
The DPP had advised that Lumumba be charged with assault committed on Presiding Officer, Onika Beckles, on November 28 last, Elections Day.
When this newspaper contacted a senior police official, it was revealed that the file with the DPP’s recommendation had not yet reached Divisional Commander George Vyphuis, whose Division is responsible for acting on the advice.
Prior to this belated piece of information, other senior officials at Brickdam were reluctant to speak about the matter.
Beckles was allegedly forced to call in the police to an Aubrey Barker Road, South Ruimveldt Polling Station after Lumumba allegedly verbally abused her and also shoved her against a wall.
It is alleged that the People’s Progressive Party candidate also grabbed the camera phone from an Electoral Assistance Bureau (EAB) Observer who was recording the altercation and threw it to the floor, destroying it in the process.
Lumumba subsequently apologized to the Elections Observer and later replaced the phone with an explanation that he was angry at the time.
Lumumba was expected to appear in court earlier this week but there appears to be some foot dragging on the matter.
He will be the second Government official to appear in court within a month for assault.
He will follow Information Liaison in the Office of the President, Kwame Mc Coy, who was charged with assaulting a man in the run up to the last General and Regional Elections.
|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.”
Spin Back – US revokes Guyana ruling PPPC goon Kwame McCoy’s visa amid allegations of child solicitation
US revokes Kwame McCoy’s visa
By STABROEK STAFF | WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2009
The United States has revoked the non-immigrant visa of Office of the President Press and Publicity Officer Kwame McCoy as of Monday amid allegations of child solicitation that have been levelled against him.
In correspondence seen by this newspaper last evening, the US Embassy wrote that McCoy’s B1/B2 visa which was issued on March 6, 2009 has been revoked. Up to press time last night McCoy said no such correspondence has reached him, but he declared he is not worried should the information be confirmed as true.
McCoy told Stabroek News last night that if any letter of a visa revocation exists the most likely reason for such action would be the current allegations against him, allegations which he dismissed as unfounded. He also questioned whether the child in the case “exists”. McCoy said there appears to be no interest on the part of the US to enquire into the basis of such allegations and to determine whether they can be substantiated. According to him, any revocation on such grounds simply demonstrates how uninformed decisions could be taken based on “mere allegations”.
McCoy turned his attention to the US government saying an examination of its policies would point to the state offering protection to a confessed murderer who “admitted to being part of a criminal gang that killed (Ronald) Waddell among other things but now he and his entire family is being protected by the US”. McCoy added that the public will judge the facts.
“…I am not worried at all if my visa was revoked because thankfully the US has no control over where I travel”, he added.
A taped conversation between an adult and a child surfaced in September and on the recording, the two speakers discuss plans for a sexual liaison. McCoy, who is also a member of the Rights of the Child Commission and a PPP/C Region Four Regional Democratic Council representative has denied that it is his voice on the recording, and deemed it a clear fabrication aimed at “smearing my character and family name.”
Previously, the US had revoked the visa of then Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj following allegations that he was linked to a death squad and subsequent to this current Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee also encountered visa problems while he held another portfolio. The US had also revoked the serving Commissioner of Police Henry Greene’s diplomatic visa in 2006 before taking back his visitor’s visa in June of the same year after Washington alleged that the then Acting Police Commissioner had benefited materially from the drugs trade. Greene had strenuously denied the allegation.
I pray to allow me to share with citizens some experiences over the weekend.
They speak to real but worrying conditions existing in our beloved Guyana.
At a function on Sunday evening in the village of Crane, West Coast Demerara, I met a seventy-six year old Guyanese born retiree living in Delaware, USA. Painfully he related some experiences, He was unhappy at the sharp decline in standards since his last visit. He was in a hire car when a Police Patrol stopped it – after a brief exchange, he observed the driver of the hire car take a bag of rice from his trunk – the police took it and drove off.
Next he related that he spent part of his childhood in the Golden Grove, Nabaclis area and reading about the many contracts and the wonderful things coming from the Ministry of Education, he was surprised to find the school in the village in such a sorry state.
Finally, he lamented that as an ex-police, our police and teachers are still poorly paid.
After leaving that village, I noticed a convoy of vehicles – enquiries revealed that they were part of a large number of vehicles including sugar estate vehicles that were commissioned to take persons to and from the PPP Rally in Kitty.
One Linden resident told us he was given $3,500 as a meal allowance to attend the said rally.
The previous evening a young man came forward at the vigil on Main Street protesting the ban on Channel 6 – he openly related how he was asked how much he needs to read a Martin Carter poem at the event to commemorate United Nation Year of People of African Descent’, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and held at the National Stadium.
When the sum of five thousand dollars was mentioned he was told that more was available. He explained to those of us gathered on the Main Street Avenue, why he refused to sell his soul, but having heard of the vigil came and asked permission to recite the poem, he was allowed and duly did so.
It is clear, the PPP and the government are in possession of substantial sums to purchase support and are in the business of rent a crowd and glitter.
Buses were seen lined up from the Kitty Market to the Sea Wall.
The PPP has been in office for almost two decades, ought they need for such tactics, but they know full well that history repeats itself, and we would always have those to whom money is just about everything.
Kaslay noted. “Money is a bottomless sea, in which honour, conscience and truth may be drowned.”
Let us hope that such persons who take these incentives know how to exercise their franchise so as to avoid future indignities.
Hamilton Green, JP