Andrew Douglas had also raised some questions
Stabroek News
January 17, 2004

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Dear Editor,

Mr. George Bacchus has done the country a great service by his revelations to the diplomatic community and the country of his involvement in politically directed crime.

Turn back the clock a little (as I do in my book on the 2001-2003 period).There is a chapter there, "Now For President Jagdeo" -the gentleman I, Eusi Kwayana, asked the public to "give a chance" on account of his youth. In the book I questioned the person we call His Excellency.

I gleaned the record from "Caribbean Daylight" (March 24, 2000 and March 31 2000) reporting dispatches from CANA and IPS correspondents in Guyana. The passage covers issues now raised and answered by Mr. Bacchus (may he be protected).

In March 2000 the prisoner Andrew Douglas issued a tape in which he accused officials of masterminding crimes in which he himself took part.

I got a very bad one and asked many journalists for a good copy, which never came. I assumed it was the same reported audio cassette.

Mr. Hoyte called a press conference and said he had heard the tape and that Douglas had given specific information pointing to the clear need for investigation. He said according to IPS that names, dates and places were mentioned. I quote the passage from the still unpublished book:

"At a separate press conference held previously by Mr. Hoyte, the PNC Leader had said that the prisoner had named persons, given dates, particulars of contracts, payments of money and telephone contacts. He said that this information was enough to send the DPP, Mr. Dennis Hanomansingh and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Laurie Lewis on a comprehensive enquiry as a precursor to criminal investigations.

"In a presidential press conference H.E President Jagdeo, personally, not through Dr. Luncheon, told reporters "that he had asked Home Affairs Minister, Mr. Ronald Gajraj, and Commis-sioner of Police, Mr. Laurie Lewis, to launch an investigation to determine whether there is any truth in the allegations made by robbery accused Andrew Douglas.

"When and how did that investigation take place?

This untried prisoner had already caused some confusion. President Jagdeo had told the press that he had ordered a Minister and the Commissioner of Police to investigate. The "Govern-ment of Guyana" (through the Ministry of Information) had already on March 21 reached a final judgment on the whole affair. It had issued the following statement, "The government of Guyana unequivocally rejects as baseless, wicked and malicious the allegations in the CANA report." It called claims by Douglas "baseless and malicious and labelled them outrageous anti-government propaganda" linking them to "blatant lies by the opposition People's National Congress." Later the manuscript reminds readers, "The Executive authority of Guyana is vested in the President (article 99). Here we face the quality and style of the PPP government."

End of quote. Although the book is directed against the armed east Coast campaign of sections of the opposition, it does not spare the PPP.

Up now comes Mr. George Bacchus describing a very similar process and behaviour as the one Douglas described. The gunmen were found out by the FBI after the US diplomatic officer was kidnapped. Now the killing of a brother has called Mr Bacchus to speak out-to the US Embassy. "If patwa come fram trench \an' tell you seh houri gat feeva, believe am!"

It may be time now for the international community to carry out these enquiries which are of deep human rights importance. (Can we still wait forever on officials to make a statement before we sound alarms like the one over CANU? )

Yours faithfully,

Eusi Kwayana

Dear Editor,

Are police investigations carried out like a disagreement in a boardroom? And why do the authorities keep embarrassing themselves with ridiculous statements and procedures?

We now read of Mr. Bacchus having to meet the alleged accused face to face for a confrontation.

Mr. Editor, if someone comes forward and gives information on incidents as grave as the ones we are hearing of, the police should begin by gathering evidence based on the informant's claims and if they are indeed true, file charges. To verify Mr. Bacchus' claims the authorities do not need a nuclear scientist, they should begin by doing what they should have done in the first place, and that is: subpoena the telephone records of all the alleged accused, retrieve the telephone records of the cell phones recovered at the crime scenes and the mystery would be solved.

They'll then know who knew whom and who contacted whom before and after all the alleged ghastly murders occurred.

Yours faithfully,

Joe Owen

New York