Death squad panel fixes rules of engagement
Stabroek News
July 22, 2004

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The death squad commission of inquiry has reached agreement on the procedures for its operation, its chairperson Justice of Appeal Ian Chang said yesterday.

At a meeting held yesterday, members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry agreed on the rules which will guide the three-man panel as it probes the allegations about Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj's involvement in unlawful killings. Justice Chang chairs the commission, which includes ex-army head Norman McLean and former chancellor of the judiciary Keith Massiah.

Chang added that the commission hopes to advertise the rules by this weekend.

The commission also plans to invite statements from witnesses, who would also be examined at hearings before the panel.

Chang explained that the hearings would be public, although subject to the discretion of the commission which could also hold in camera hearings.

He said the commission would like to begin work in a month, given no unforeseen circumstances.

Gajraj is on leave to rest fears about any interference during the conduct of the investigation. He has always maintained his innocence of the allegations, which were made by a self-claimed informant for the squad, George Bacchus, who was murdered recently.