Opposition wants UN role in death squad inquiry
Corbin to write to Annan
Stabroek News
May 7, 2004

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Members of the parliamentary opposition have authorised Leader of the Opposition, Robert Corbin, to write to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan inviting his assistance in dealing with the death squad allegations.

At its weekly press briefing held yesterday at Congress Place, Sophia, the PNCR said Corbin also wrote to Caricom asking that the matter be placed on the agenda of the community. The opposition parties met one week ago to decide on the matter and came up with the proposal to approach the UN.

According to the PNCR, it is convinced that the involvement of the UN would serve the national good "and would serve to persuade the Guya-nese people that they should have confidence in the seriousness, independence, impartiality and thoroughness of any inquiry."

The PNCR said the invitation to the UN Secretary-General is another manifestation of the manner in which the party was conducting its campaign in the affair.

Speaking at the briefing, Member of Parliament Deryck Bernard said the presence of the UN would give a further sense of credibility and independence to any investigation into the allegations George Bacchus made linking the Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, to the operation of a killer squad. The minister has denied the allegations made against him.

Member of GAP/WPA Sheila Holder told Stabroek News that her party was part of the decision and that up to yesterday the contents of the letter were being considered.

Holder said the parties were in agreement that the investigation has to go as far back as the Mash Day 2002 jail-break and the ensuing violence. She said they hoped the Secretary-General will understand that pre-emptive action is necessary so that the crisis does not escalate.

Holder is of the view that the recent series of rule-of-law marches could come to an end if the move to the UN yields results. She opined that protests are having negative impacts.