Gov’t very committed to police probe into Simels trial disclosures – Jagdeo
Posted By Stabroek staff On September 13, 2009 @ 5:11 am In Local News | 6 Comments
President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday said that his administration is “very committed” to launching an investigation into allegations made in the US during the Robert Simels trial, but it would be done by the police.
He once again staunchly rejected calls by the opposition parties to have a commission of enquiry done into all aspects of the revelations.
“From the first instance I said the police should deal with this matter. Once any act of criminality is committed on our soil, it has to be thoroughly investigated and not by a commission of inquiry [but] by the law enforcement agencies,” the President said on Thursday when asked about the issue at the commissioning of the East la Penitence health centre.
Testimony in the Simels trial has linked the government to confessed drug trafficker Roger Khan and more specifically Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy, as having been in contact with Khan and also authorising the purchase of the infamous spy equipment that was seized from Khan in 2003. Both the government and Ramsammy have denied the allegation and while testimony in the US court stated that Simels had exported the said equipment back to the US, the police and the government have stressed that the equipment is here. Commissioner of Police Henry Greene recently briefly produced two items for the media.
While speaking to reporters the President again mentioned that the Commissioner has written to his American counterparts and he has been told that he has to wait until the case is over “and we are still waiting, but he has to conduct an investigation.”
Asked why the police did not begin their investigation by merely checking the immigration records to verify entry into the country by a Carl Chapman, who court documents and testimonies indicated came to Guyana to train Khan and others on the use of the spy equipment, the President said the company that sold the equipment bears some responsibility.
He qualified his statement by adding: “We never restrict the export of the equipment, it was the US government, so assuming Ramsammy signed this letter or even Jagdeo or Luncheon and said ‘we want you to sell this equipment to Guyana’, the company had to seek permission from the US government because it was the US government that was prohibiting the export not Guyana. So even if they had my approval they still couldn’t sell it to Guyana because they had to seek permission from the exporting country. Did they seek permission? The [answer] is no, so clearly the company has to be held responsible… if you had a letter from God himself… they had to seek the US permission saying we have a request now from God and we would like to export the equipment is God the right person to export the equipment to.”
As an example to what he was talking about, the President mentioned that when Guyana wants to bring certain weapons into the country it had to seek permission from the exporting government.
“So we need to ask these questions because… you see we don’t know what went on in the US court and that’s what we are trying to find out and to get help from the US government.”
The President pointed out that Simels was convicted of witness tampering and while a lot of allegations were made the investigation has to be done on the basis of fact.
He said that Ramsammy, who was listening in on the interview, has made it clear that he is willing to subject himself to an investigation “we have said it is the police who should investigate.”
Asked what would be the position should a letter be produced with the minister’s signature giving permission to purchase the equipment, the President said: “But that’s it, we need to see the stuff. And even if he had done that, I don’t know if he had said he has not signed any such document, so we would have to… I don’t want to deal with hypothetical, I could deal with a hundred hypothetical [situations] but at this point in time what the government is committed to is to get the police to investigate . . .”
The revelations in the US court flowed mainly from the testimony of Selwyn Vaughn, a paid US informant who said he was a member of Khan’s ‘Phantom Squad’. More claims were made later when Simels took the stand in his own defence.
Vaughn made a string of disclosures including telling jurors that Khan had connections to the government through Ramsammy.
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6 Comments To "Gov’t very committed to police probe into Simels trial disclosures – Jagdeo"
#1 Comment By Dandy Andy On September 13, 2009 @ 6:01 am
Extracted: “Asked what would be the position should a letter be produced with the minister’s signature giving permission to purchase the equipment, the President said: “But that’s it, we need to see the stuff. And even if he had done that, I don’t know if he had said he has not signed any such document, so we would have to… I don’t want to deal with hypothetical, I could deal with a hundred hypothetical [situations] but at this point in time what the government is committed to is to get the police to investigate . . .”
If the government was committed it would have moved swiftly to get a copy of the letter to do a signature analysis. Had this been a case of a ranking army officer using GDF letterhead stationery to buy dangerous weapons from overseas for criminal gangs, the government would have wasted no time in getting a copy of that letter. Anyway, let us watch the Jagdeo do his last dance, shall we?
The only thing Jagdeo’s government is committed to is protecting itself against the inevitable fallout from the Khan-Simels fiasco. Right now, it is playing for time with the hope that the US would not pursue any further action against Guyanese officials for the role in Khan’s shenanigans in Guyana. As of now, Bharrat Jagdeo has zero credibility when he speaks about the Roger Khan case or even the Robert Simels case. Zero as in a big fat O!
#2 Comment By BORAPORK On September 13, 2009 @ 6:45 am
To believe the police were unaware of the level of criminality within Guyana’s borders is the taking of self-deception to the stratosphere. To then have this corrupt organization investigate the statements from the Simels trial is laughable and ridiculous. Members of the phantom gang were ex-police officers and are suspected of having an incestuous relationship with the present directorate and the ruling party. The ruling party has also shown its vindictiveness by refusing to confirm the Chief Education Officer and others in their positions and I pity the police officer who presents information that puts the government in a bad light. He/she would be banished to the Cleveland of Guyana for the rest of his career never to be heard from again. An international commission is the only way forward and forget the refuge of sovereignty as a reason.
#3 Comment By johnander On September 13, 2009 @ 6:51 am
Socialists do not believe in god, what an anology.
It seems the best way to get an international body to investigate, is for the people to call for the police to investigate, jagdeo’s natural reflex is to do opposite, he will call on the international body to investigate.
#4 Comment By amenra[jackass seh de wurl na level] On September 13, 2009 @ 6:58 am
I think the president should keep his mouth shut, because everytime he speaks he talks nonsense for a president of a country, he just don’t make sense.
#5 Comment By LIND On September 13, 2009 @ 7:22 am
so which year day or month this police investigation will take place will the Police commissioner travel to the US to gather information???????. This matter is DEAD before it starts just like all the others.
#6 Comment By Mike Persaud On September 13, 2009 @ 8:02 am
I may sound like a cynic of the govt. – but I am not. Just realistic.
Could this Police Force under Commissioner Greene conduct an investigation into the all but complete drug-takeover of the State?
This Commissioner says he has the eavesdropping equipment in his office. But everyone knows the equipment was displayed in a New York court. Which one is the dummy equipment?
The equipment was once seized from Khan’s vehicle on the ECD – but it later turned out Khan still had the equipment. Did the police return the equipment?
One month has passed since the Hogg Island boat mishap in which two men were killed and a 10-year-boy went missing. And, Commissioner Greene has still refused or failed to hold a press conference to tell the public what is going on with this case – and the President has also refused to assume the role of a take-charge president and take over the case? There are very serious allegations and credible evidentiary material suggesting these murders were done by people manning the Coast Guard vessel. One month later this nation of 700,000 souls is still waiting for answers from Commish Greene.
Now Greene would be entrusted with conducting a major major drug investigation. And, so says the President. And, so ordered by presidential decree.
Give me a break!
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