By Ron Elcock with additional reporting by Enrico Woolford in New York.
At one stage it looked like a scene from the movie “Goodfellas” with the prosecutor asking the informer “what are you getting for this…” And why should it not, as some of the actors in this real life courtroom drama are the ones on whom the movie is based, Judge Gleeson, and Defence attorneys Shargel and Simels.
In yet another day of testimony from Selwyn Vaughn, even under cross examination on Thursday, stuck to his story.
The defense tried to discredit him, or distort his testimony but appeared not to have convinced the courtroom and the jury.
The main witness, a former phantom squad member, walked up to the witness stand, took his seat, sat with his chin in his hands and waited for the proceedings to begin.
The cross examination that began late Wednesday afternoon flustered him a bit.
But on Thursday he looked a little more comfortable, not a glimpse of nervousness as he continually rebuffed the defense’s attempt to malign him as a liar, or discredit his story.
As the cross examination began, it was clear that the defence was trying to insinuate that Selwyn Vaughn made up most of the charges against Robert Simels, or he misinterpreted what was said to him.
Vaughn vehemently denied, stating clearly that he thought Simels was trying to get enough information to neutralise David Clarke (who was supposedly to testify against Roger Khan).
During the cross examination, testimony had to be read back, and excerpts from recorded conversations used to demonstrate the defence position in this case.
Simels referred to President Bharrat Jagdeo as “Bharrat” on several occasions, at one point stating his desire to have “Bharrat lodge a formal protest with the United States Government regarding the arrest of Roger Khan”.
Simels felt as though they were moving too slow and he could not get the necessary documents he wanted to prepare for Roger Khan’s defense.
It was also during this phase of the trial that documents showed Robert Simels met with the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, in his effort to secure information for Roger Khan’s defense, whilst still trying to meet with President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Selwyn Vaughn stated that Donald Allison asked him to pick up a shipment of guns that came from the U.S. The arms were taken to a location in the interior.
In court, Vaughn testified that around this time he and Roger Khan met with Dr. Leslie Ramsammy about the inner dealings of the “Buxton Gang”.
Vaughn stated that between 2000 and 2003, his cousin, Mervyn Vaughn, who at the time was a detective in the Guyana Police Force, frequently asked him to assist in finding individuals wanted by the Guyana Police Force, when they (the police) could not.
When asked if he knew what became of those people after they were located by the Police, he shrugged and answered in the negative.
The witness claimed that he met Roger Khan in June/July 2005, and was given a Glock semi-automatic pistol with matching rounds and asked to infiltrate the “Buxton Gang”, enemies of Roger Khan.
Later that same year, on November 20, a bomb was placed in a television set, and Vaughn was instructed to take the TV to Buxton to be delivered to the gang in an effort to eradicate them.
He stated he did not believe that there was a bomb in the television, for at that time he did not know of bomb-making expertise in Guyana.
Vaughn claimed Roger Khan told him the bomb was made by Richard Millard (Buffy from T&T), the Trinidadian who was later arrested in Guyana. He said that he saw Milliard putting together wires and gadgets.
The television was eventually opened up, and according to Vaughn’s testimony, it was diffused by Nigel Lucky, and they removed the device, and kept the television.
Vaughn said he never delivered it to Buxton because it was going to hurt innocent women and children.
He gave Roger Khan a story which Khan accepted as an excuse.
Documents also showed Vaughn’s recollection of walking into Roger Khan’s office and seeing him with a CD player opened up; Khan told him he was placing a bomb inside the piece of equipment to be sent to Buxton.
Again, he testified he did not take the package to Buxton.
Vaughn’s testimony showed that he got a call from Roger Khan in October 2005 instructing him to drive by “The Gym”, to see if Allison was there.
He did what he was instructed to do, and when he saw Allison, he called Roger Khan to verify he was indeed there and standing in front of the Gym.
Within seconds a car pulled up and gunfire erupted, killing Allison.
When asked under cross examination as to whether it was true he had received a kilo of cocaine as a reward for the Alison killing, Vaughn denied, stating the kilo of cocaine was given to “Banks” (Conrad Sanmoogan) with instructions to sell the cocaine and give some of the proceedings to him, Vaughn.
With regards to the Waddell killing, Vaughn testified that he never thought they were going to kill him, and to this he was pressured under cross examination to explain, since he obviously knew what happened to Alison after surveillance for Roger Khan. Again, as reported earlier, Vaughn said he sat and watched as the killers shot Waddell, then drove off, claiming he was shocked that they killed him.
As to the killing of Dave Persaud at Palm Court, Vaughn testified that an individual named “Ninety” St. Hill killed Persaud, as directed by Roger Khan.
In February 2006, according to Vaughn sworn’s testimony, after Sean Belfield’s daughter was kidnapped, the “Roger Khan Gang” kidnapped an unidentified woman who supposedly had information as to the whereabouts of Belfield’s daughter, and brutally tortured her from 7:30 pm until the “wee” hours of the morning.
He claimed it was only after he said to Khan that he believed what the woman was saying (she didn’t know), did they end the torture session.
Documents showed Selwyn Vaughn stating he saw Roger Khan with the infamous “laptop with surveillance software” in his office at the time when Sean Belfield’s daughter was kidnapped.
He stated the laptop was used to intercept the calls made by the kidnappers in an effort to locate the girl.
It was this laptop that the Guyana Government claimed it had possession of, however, today, the U.S. Govt. clearly showed they had the laptop.
A few months after Khan was arrested and extradited to the United States, Selwyn Vaughn began working for the U.S Govt. Vaughn claimed he thought Robert Simels was trying to get as much information as possible against David Clarke, so as to neutralize him. Evidence showed the boldness with which Roger Khan gang operated.
Documents showed Selwyn Vaughn as having tipped off the U.S Government that the gang was planning to kidnap the wife of a U.S embassy official, in retaliation to Roger Khan’s arrest, and extradition.
The high-ranking diplomat was later forced to cut short his tour of duty and he and his family left the country.
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(A presentation by Sir Ronald Sanders on Friday 17 February 2017, at a Conference organised by Goethals Consulting Corp.... more