Give Gajraj inquiry a chance - Bullen
Stabroek News
May 25, 2004

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United States Ambassador to Guyana, Roland Bullen, yesterday said the presidential commission of inquiry into the death squad allegations against Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, should be given an opportunity to do its work.

Bullen was at the time answering questions put to him by reporters at an HIV/AIDS project launch.

Asked if he could be satisfied with the commission, given that it did not emerge from consultations, Bullen said he is not familiar with constitutional requirements in Guyana, however, "...It is a presidential commission, it is the president's discretion to appoint such a commission. He has done that and it will be inappropriate for me to second guess him at this point in time when it has just gotten off the ground."

Bullen was further pressed to say if he wanted to see something emerge out of concessions on the terms of reference and the make up of the panel.

He pointed out that it is something that has to be resolved among the Guyanese people as he does not think that the United States could impose its system in Guyana.

He said the inquiry should be given an opportunity to see where it leads to. "I think to jump to a conclusion at this point that it is an exercise in futility is prejudging."

President Bharrat Jagdeo set up the commission to determine if any credible evidence exists to support the allegations that Minister Gajraj has been involved in extra-legal killings.

The commission is to be chaired by Justice of Appeal Ian Chang SC and also includes former army Chief-of-Staff Major General (rtd) Norman McLean and Chairman of the Police Service Commission Ivan Crandon.

In the light of various concerns, Jagdeo has said that he is willing to rethink Crandon's appointment, but maintains that he does not have an obligation to consult with other parties or groups.