Kwame McCoy convicted for gun-butting man, fined $70,000
…AFC calls for his removal from OP, Rights of the Child Commission
Information and Press Liaison to the President, Kwame McCoy, was yesterday found guilty of assault and threatening language after making an appearance before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
McCoy was charged after he assaulted and threatened an opposition party worker, Clifton Stewart, on November 12th last year, days before National Elections.
McCoy was fined $70,000- $20,000 for the offence of threatening language and $50,000 for the offence of assault. Failure by McCoy to pay the fine will result in him facing four weeks imprisonment; two weeks on each offence.
McCoy’s lawyer did not make an appearance and the court went ahead to sentence him.
The court said that Stewart was able to identify McCoy on the day in question. The Magistrate spoke about the number of times Stewart would have seen McCoy and the close proximity in which Stewart was in relation to getting a good view of McCoy’s face on the day of the incident.
McCoy was unable to present any witnesses in the matter with his defence only being that he had never seen Stewart before the court date and that the allegation against him was politically driven, as he described “a trail of political concoctions, lies and theatrics.”
The court, however, pondered on why McCoy never called any of the 20 persons he said was working with him on the day in question to prove his story that he never made contact with Stewart before the court hearing.
McCoy, in a statement before he was sentenced, warned that he feared that the court was “setting a dangerous precedence where concoctions of lies from the police and persons could be made against someone.”
He was advised by the Magistrate that he had the option of appealing the matter in the High Court.
McCoy indicated his willingness to pay the fine but told the court that he did not have his bag with him. He was given a week to pay the fine to the state.
McCoy, no stranger to controversy, hurriedly left the courtroom.
Stewart, following the sentencing, was somewhat satisfied but believed that for a criminal offence committed with a gun, McCoy should have been imprisoned. Stewart signaled a possibility of taking civil action against McCoy.
McCoy is also facing another court matter involving Natalie Ross, the woman he reportedly hit with his Sports Utility Vehicle.
Meanwhile, the Alliance for Change (AFC) yesterday called for the immediate removal of McCoy from the Office of the President and the Rights of the Child Commission, as a result of judgment handed down by the Chief Magistrate.
According to the party, it is disappointed in the paltry sentence handed down to McCoy. However, the AFC said it is pleased that the official has been formally found guilty for his actions and behavior towards citizens of the country whom he ought to be serving, not assaulting.
In view of the verdict, the party believes that it is imperative that President Donald Ramotar act honourably and remove McCoy.
“To continue to engage McCoy in an important position at OP will leave Guyanese with the view that His Excellency is harbouring and sheltering persons of unbecoming and divisive character within the highest office in the land. The party regrets that this exposure, necessarily, brings into focus the credibility of the Office of the President and how it is viewed by its counterparts in the region and internationally.”