Buying your way out of jail is a lesson to be learned from the top families in Guyana, Navin Prashad the son of then Minister Manniram Prashad high profile case disappeared from the courts, and more recently President Donald Ramotar son Alexei Ramotar ran down a man with his car and the police failed to even do anything about it, lead police in that accident apparently got a promotion, then Nanda Gopal from Office of the President accident.
Kuru Kururu fatal accident…Dead guard’s family accepts $2.5M settlement from accused
By Michael Jordan
Relatives of security guard, Ronville Roberts, have accepted a $2.5M settlement from truck driver Sahid Ali,
who is accused of causing Roberts’s death in an accident last Wednesday on the Soesdyke/Linden highway.
This disclosure was made yesterday when the 29-year-old accused appeared in the Providence Magistrates Court before Magistrate Leslie Sobers on charges of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to render assistance.
Ali’s attorney, Vic Puran, told Magistrate Sobers that his client had agreed to give Roberts’s family $2.5M. The court was also told that the accused had already made an initial payment of $200,000 to the dead guard’s family.
In the presence of the court, Ali then handed over a further $500,000 to the dead man’s reputed wife, Ingrid Schmidt. Puran also requested copies of the case dockets, which he would hand over to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Ali, who had been placed on remand and appeared in court in handcuffs, was then released on $100,000 bail. He is to return to court on March 22.
While the security guard’s relatives have indicated that they are unwilling to pursue the matter concerning his death, the DPP has the final say in deciding whether the charges against the accused will be dropped.
Speaking to Kaieteur News after leaving the court, attorney-at-law Puran said that he will appeal to the DPP to have the charges dropped.
“I will now have to write to the DPP requesting that she nolle prosequi (bring it to an end) because of the view that my client is prepared to compensate, so that is a factor for her to take into consideration.
“But she could decide that she is proceeding, notwithstanding compensation.
“What has been settled is the civil matter…If the aggrieved persons are disposed to settle the matter, it is up to the DPP to decide whether she agrees to settle or not.“
At the suggestion that $2.5M was a relatively paltry sum, and could not give the victims a house, Puran argued that $2.5M “could build a 30×20 three-bedroom concrete house with a toilet and bathroom.”
The victim, 58-year-old Ronville Roberts, is survived by eight children. The youngest is said to be about 11 years old.
But Puran said that neither he nor any other attorney was involved in arranging the financial transaction. Rather, this was done by the accused and the victim’s family. However, Puran said he informed the court of the financial compensation in an effort to be “full and frank.”
The prosecution has alleged that security guard Ronville Roberts, of Kuru Kururu, was cycling along the Soesdyke/Linden highway near his home at around 08:15 hrs last Friday when Sahid Ali, who was driving motor lorry GLL 319, reversed and crushed him.
The prosecution also alleged that the 29-year-old accused drove off, leaving the injured man on the roadway. He reportedly abandoned the truck about four miles from the scene.
Sahid Ali was subsequently identified and charged with causing death by dangerous driving and failing to render assistance. He first appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates Court last Friday.
But attorney-at-law Vic Puran denied that his client had fled from the scene of the accident. According to Puran, Ali had driven away because he was unaware of the accident.
Puran also denied that his client had abandoned his vehicle, and said Ali had gone to buy something to eat. The attorney also argued that it is difficult for a cyclist on the move to collide with a reversing vehicle unless the person sought to commit suicide.
The attorney added that a passenger riding with Ali had told police that at the time of the alleged incident, he was instructing the driver to reverse, and during such time the truck had not been involved in any accidents.
Puran said the police arrested Ali because they noticed blue paint on the bottom of the truck, which appeared to be similar to the blue paint on Robert’s bicycle.
The prosecutor subsequently rebutted Puran’s claim and said that the truck had been identified by eyewitnesses. The prosecution had objected to granting Ali bail.
Suggesting that his client is still not out of the woods, Puran referred to similar cases where the DPP had refused to drop charges even after financial settlements were made.
He cited an August 2009 case in which a client of his was charged with causing the death of two small children, aged 12 and seven, near Tuschen East Bank Essequibo.
Puran explained that although his client, compensated the children’s relatives, the DPP ordered that the criminal proceedings should continue. The accused, Mahendranauth Singh, was eventually freed of the charges.
Kaieteur News had reported in 2010 of several cases in which drivers in causing death matters had their cases dropped after paying various sums to the families of victims.
The ‘compensation packages’ ranged from $5M for the death of the young mother, $600,000 for the death of an eight-year-old girl, and $300,000 for a seven-year-old girl killed on a pedestrian crossing.
DECEMBER 30, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Dear Mr. Editor,
From the presidencies of Mr. C. B Jagan to Mr. B. Jagdeo, the PPP had numerous opportunities to change the Burnhamite constitution. Every PPP President has exercised the power and dictatorial impositions afforded by the Burnhamite constitution on every government related entity.
Most PPPites do not think that this rule of dictatorial impositions is against the will of the Guyanese people when their PPP Government exercised the powers and abuses afforded by the Burnhamite constitution. They (PPPites) now regularly rehash the PNC past with absolute disconnection from realities of the present.
Despite all the evidence of the harm inflicted on Guyana, there is no talk of changing the Burnhamite constitution, at least from the PPP and its Presidential candidate to reflect the will of the Guyanese people.
As a result of the current PPP and past PNC continuous and ingrained dictatorial governances, we have arrived at several positions of no return which if allowed to proceed in the PPP fashion, will probably make our chances of having an economic and feasible future of Guyanese society out of reach.
There are numerous positions or existing conditions to dwell, elaborate and write about— from corruption, crime, education, narco-state and failed state, to a ruling class of Guyanese connected to the PPP who have a greater chance to accumulate more personal wealth at the expense of the country.
If Mr. Donald Ramotar and Dr. Nanda Gopaul were elusive in protecting workers rights and economic interests then it is puzzling to understand what Mr. Navin Chandarpaul and Mr. Komal Chand stand and/or stood for.
Workers rights and economic livelihoods have deteriorated during their watch.
Through these same four gentlemen of the ruling PPP, sugar workers have less, earn less and have less to look forward to and their children have lost most of the possibilities to higher education and better futures. With a failing sugar industry there are chances sooner rather later they will descend in a deeper state of poverty.
DECEMBER 15, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
“Where are the 15,000 house-lots that he is speaking of if no money was allocated to develop the land that they paid GuySuCo $4B for?”– Ramjattan
Housing Minister Irfaan Ali is again being accused of blatantly lying to the nation in
relation to statements he made.
Alliance For Change (AFC) Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, told this publication that the 15,000 houselots that Ali is now talking about in relation to the $4B paid to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for land in Diamond, appears to be a figment of Ali’s imagination or a deliberate attempt to mislead Guyanese.
Following the brouhaha that erupted over the manner in which the money was transferred to the state-owned in late 2009, it was also found that no money was allocated for the development of the land that the Housing Ministry purportedly bought.
Ramjattan said that it is Ali’s dishonesty that had put him in trouble in the first place when he along with the Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, breached the Laws of Guyana to have the money secretly transferred to GuySuCo as a bailout.
This bailout, according to Ramjattan, was necessitated by the mismanagement of the industry by individuals including the newly sworn in Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul, as well as the current President, Donald Ramotar, who were, at the time, both Directors on the Board of the ailing sugar corporation.
Ramjattan insisted that neither he nor his party is arguing against the development of houselots for Guyanese. However, the Minister breached the rules when the money found its way from the nation’s coffers to GuySuCo without the requisite Parliamentary approval, he said.
The AFC official recalled that the money was paid over to GuySuCo long before the Parliamentary approval was sought for its use and this is the issue that he had raised in the National Assembly, sparking a furore on the part of the Minister.
Ali was at the time also accused of flagrantly “disrespecting and acting in contempt of the National Assembly” when he attempted to avoid being grilled on the matter.
The state-owned Guyana Chronicle yesterday reported the Housing Minister as asking “What is so wrong with creating more than 15,000 houselots for Guyanese?”
Ramjattan retorted, “Where are the 15,000 house-lots that he is speaking of if no money was allocated to develop the land that they paid GuySuCo $4B for?”
The AFC Chairman says that following the brouhaha surrounding the $4B and the Minister of Housing, the 2011 Budget was unveiled and it was revealed that there was no money allocated for the development of the land in Diamond, vindicating the position that the money was merely for a bailout of GuySuCo.
There were several subsequent Supplementary Provisions sought in the National Assembly with no money being identified for the development of the land that had been bought by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) with the $4B, through the aegis of the Housing Minister.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sugar Corporation, Paul Bhim, when contacted yesterday by this publication said that he could only confirm that the negotiation between GuySuCo and CHPA for the $4B has been completed.
He said that he was not in a position to say just how much of the land owned by GuySuCo was sold to CHPA to the tune of $4B.
Bhim said, too, that he was also at the time not aware of any additional payments made to the sugar corporation for the land.
He did say that at least half of the money went to capital works for GuySuCo to purchase tractors but could not elaborate any further at the time.
Following the revelations surrounding the $4B and the Minister of Housing’s involvement, the then Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud had told the Parliamentary Economic Services Committee that the money was made as an upfront payment to the entity which at the time was still in negotiations with the CHPA as to the value of the land being sold.
As such, Persaud at the time was unable to tell the Committee exactly what was the value attached to the land at Diamond which GuySuCo was disposing of to the Housing Ministry.
The company at the time was said to be seeking some $37B for its canelands in Diamond which was being retired and disposed of (some 2000 hectares) with close to half committed to housing.
The remainder of the land was scheduled to be put up for sale through a public tender process which Persaud had said would ensure transparency whilst the state company sought to acquire as much as possible for the land.
Varshnie Singh entitled to First Lady’s pension
NOVEMBER 13, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
Pull Quote… “If this is the disdain with which Jagdeo and Nanda Gopaul of the Office of the President would treat her, how would they treat the ordinary Guyanese woman?” Ramjattan
The woman who was presented to the nation and world leaders as Guyana’s First Lady for eight years is entitled to a pension as is the case with the widows– Doreen Chung, Joyce Hoyte and Janet Jagan.
AFC Presidential Candidate Khemraj Ramjattan
This is according to Alliance for Change Presidential Candidate, Khemraj Ramjattan, who said that according to Hindu rites Varshnie and President Bharrat Jagdeo were married and that the registration was merely a formality to conform with the local laws.
“If she was my sister I would have gone up to him and put a good cut ass on him,” Ramjattan said, adding that it is the thing for a Hindu brother to do.
Ramjattan added, “If this is the disdain with which Jagdeo and Nanda Gopaul of the Office of the President would treat Varshnie, how would they treat the ordinary Guyanese woman?”
Dr Nanda Gopaul, the Permanent Secretary, in the Office of the President on Friday evening had released the names of the First Ladies who had received pensions and how much.
According to Ramjattan, even if one were to look at the amended marriage laws then it would be clear that even in a common-law relationship where a couple lives together for a period of more than five years then the woman is entitled to some benefits.
He said that Varshnie Singh was recognized as the Guyana’s First Lady for several years and as such should be entitled to a First Lady’s pension.
Gopaul had released the salaries received by Former Presidents and First Ladies amidst swirling controversy over the pension package Mr Bharrat Jagdeo will receive when he demits office following the November 28 polls.
However, the list omitted Varshnie Singh, who served as First Lady while married to Jagdeo. Jagdeo became President in 1999; the couple separated in 2007. Ms Singh, who has since adopted her maiden name, said the marriage was not registered.
In addition, the list released by the Office of the President also omits Mrs Yvonne Hinds, the wife of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who served as First Lady from March-December, 1997 when he served as President.
The list states that in December 3, 2004, Mrs. Joyce Hoyte (wife of former President Desmond Hoyte), received $87,143. Following the passage of the Former Presidents (Benefits and Other Facilities) Act Mrs. Hoyte received $347,395 from 2006. In 2007, she received $378,660; in 2008, $489,468; and in November 2010, she got $543,543.
The Office of the President said Mrs. Janet Jagan received $125,867 per month in 2000. From October 1, 2006 she received $729,529 per month. In addition, the Office of the President said she received a salary of $137, 938 in March 2009 as legislator, and ex-president $876,692.
Former President Arthur Chung received, from October 1, 2006 $729,529 per month, with the last amount being paid in June 2008 to the tune of $1,085,427 per month.
His widow, Mrs Chung, received a widow’s pension of $542,714 up to August 2009, the Office of the President said.
The Office added that they were also entitled to motor vehicles and drivers, a gardener, payment of utility bills (electricity/telephone/water), payment for security at their residence or the provision of security personnel, payment of maids, payment for m
edical expenditures, payment of an Annual Vacation Allowance for Ex-President
President Bharrat Jagdeo and Varshnie on their wedding day July 26, 1998
and Spouse, and duty-free concession for motor vehicles.
McCoy taking notes from Navin Prashad, the son of Minister of Tourism, who was charged with causing the death of a University student, and that case just disappeared from the courts, then the case of another Office of the President official Nanda Gopal which wasn’t even investigated, and how can we forget about earlier this year when Alexei Ramotar, the son PPP Presidential Candidate Donald Ramotar ran down a man and got off, in fact the same investigating police officer got a big raise and promotion a few months after the incident. Then there is the policeman that was rundown by Minister Kellawan Lall, then once again nothing became of the other incident involving Kellawan Lall hitting down two people on a motorcycle. The PPP and their cronies commit crimes against the average Guyanese and no one is held accountable.
OCTOBER 26, 2011 | BY KNews | FILED UNDER News
“Just because he wukkin wid de President, he feel he could do whatever he like to people and de police can’t do he nothing.”
The words of an angry mother, whose 22-year-old daughter, Natalia Ross, was hospitalized overnight after she was allegedly run over by a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) driven by Information Liaison to President Bharat Jagdeo, Kwame McCoy.
Roxanne McKenzie is terribly upset that McCoy is apparently being allowed to get off scot-free for what she described a deliberate act.
“You know who is Kwame? De police can’t touch he!” exclaimed one of the eyewitnesses to the incident, which occurred around 00:15 hours yesterday on Robb Street near the junction with Albert Street. The victim has reportedly suffered severe concussions and bruises about her body.
This newspaper understands that the incident stemmed from an earlier altercation between volunteers from two major political parties over the erection of campaign material in Georgetown.
According to reports, volunteers from the ruling PPP/C were erecting posters on lamp posts along Regent Street when they were confronted by several persons who objected to the “obscuring of another party’s campaign material.”
This led to a heated argument and the PPP/C volunteers summoning McCoy.
The PPP/C volunteers subsequently went to Robb Street where they continued to carry out their duties and again another verbal confrontation ensured.
McKenzie, who was at a residence at Robb and Albert Streets, told this newspaper that her daughter Natalia Ross and her aunt were heading there from a party nearby when they observed the confrontation in front of their home.
“They were making joke with some boys who were putting up a plaque, telling them don’t knock de lantern post too hard because wood ants eating it out and it gon fall down…anyway, Mr. Kwame come up in me daughter and me sister face and start talking and busing,” McKenzie told Kaieteur News.
Ross, who was discharged from hospital yesterday afternoon, told this newspaper that she was jokingly warning the men against hammering on the post lest it caused a problem with the electricity to their house when McCoy intervened.
“He came up and told the men, ‘allyuh do me wuk because I paying y’all. Don’t bother with people.’ then he asked me if the lamp post is me own and I tell he ‘no is GPL own’,” Ross related.
She claimed that McCoy became more aggressive and began pointing his fingers in her aunt’s face, leading to Ross forcefully upbraiding him.
“I tell he talk but don’t touch and he tell me shut me mouth, I gon see wha gon happen to me, he gon show me he is who.”
The woman said that McCoy then left and went to his vehicle which was parked on the other side of the road.
“I really thought that he was going to his vehicle to call the police to come and arrest me, but then I see these two bright lights coming and that was it,” Ross recalled.
She never regained consciousness until three hours later at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Her mother related that she too would have been struck down had she not jumped out of the way.
According to McKenzie, as her daughter lay sprawled on the parapet, McCoy drove away and returned a few minutes later, still “ranting and raving.”
“I tell he I gon call the media and he tell me he ain’t frighten dem, he does deal with dem everyday,” McKenzie stated.
By then the police had arrived and were so preoccupied with getting the injured woman to the hospital that they paid no attention to McCoy.
McKenzie then went to the Alberttown Police Station where she made a report.
Kaieteur News understands that McCoy has given the police no official report on the matter.
When contacted by this newspaper last evening, McCoy denied that he was involved in any incident that led to the woman receiving injuries.
“I don’t have no time with people and their ignorance. I am not going to be part of the PNC/APNU drama to stir up a confrontation,” McCoy said, adding that he will not be distracted from carrying out his work.
But when asked how the woman received injuries that caused her to be hospitalised, McCoy replied “my vehicle did not come into contact with anyone. My workers called me and told me that she, the woman, threw herself down and began screaming.”
“Did they tell you that she was drunk. I don’t care, I am surprised that you called me,” McCoy told a reporter from this newspaper.
This is not the first time that McCoy has been involved in an incident like this. He was previously accused of driving his vehicle on another woman during a protest action in the city.
He was never charged. He was also accused to have been in an incident which involved the damaging of a vehicle belonging to social activist Mark Benschop . The police have not yet taken any decisive action in that matter.
“I can’t understand this thing because you working with the government and nobody can’t say nothing. People could drive over you and talk up and go away and lef you lying down pon de parapet,” McKenzie told this newspaper.
“When he don knock down me daughter, he drive away and come back fuh bad up and buse. I was not afraid when he came back like he brandishing a gun because when I see me daughter lie down deh, I done say is best Kwame kill me, is only because he had a gun and he had he people with he. But I need justice fuh me daughter,” she added.
McKenzie said that words cannot explain how she is feeling now that the police appear to have taken no action.
“We de poor people is like nothing, because he wukkin in de government, he can do whatever he want to do to people. I don’t find that is right at all,” she stated.
According to the woman, the police appear to have already taken a position since she overheard an officer at the Alberttown Station saying that her daughter had walked into McCoy’s vehicle.
“Dis man got plenty power. He got more power than de president how dis man operate. Thank God he ain’t kill my daughter,” McKenzie stated.
By Stabroek staff
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
President Bharrat Jagdeo is of the view that crime in the region cannot be solved by crafting regional organizations and is suggesting that the place where there will be greater impact on crime is in the domestic jurisdiction.
After refusing free help from the UK to protect the nation, Jagdeo once again does not want foreigners to be able to examine the security apparatus his PPP government have in place, why is this?
Maybe if foreigners are involved people linked to the PPP would not get away with crimes against the nation and the Guyanese public. Cases like those involving Manniram Prashad’s son Navin Prashad will not disappear, proper police investigations would take place in the cases like those involving Donald Ramotar’s son Alexei Ramotar, or that of Office of the president Nanda Gopal, or Minister Kellawan Lall rum shop fiasco. The Phantom Squad murders, the Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan fiasco, the Minister Clement Rohee refugee scandal.