Jun 30, 2008 News Comments Off on Slaughtered miners…Arrival date of forensic expert unknown – Rohee
Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, says he is yet to receive word on when the requested forensic expert from the United States of America will arrive in Guyana to assist in ascertaining certain aspects of the Lindo Creek slaughter of eight miners, some 10 miles from Christmas Falls.
President Bharrat Jagdeo, on Wednesday last, had announced that Guyana has requested assistance from the US to conduct a forensic examination of the site where eight miners were found dead.
The question of a timeline for the arrival of the forensic expert was posed to the minister in light of questions arising from the public domain as to the credibility of the physical evidence presented to the expected expert when he/she arrives.
According to President Jagdeo, he would assume that if Guyana has sought external help, the site of the massacre would have been secured to protect the evidence. Ever since the slaughter of the eight miners, several different theories have been ventilated via the media as to who is responsible for the killings.
Newspaper reports, quoting a source who stated that the spent shells found at the scene did not match those used by the Rondell ‘Fine Man Rawlins Gang’ that was being pursued by the Joint Services in the area, were refuted by the Police, who contended otherwise.
Police officials have since announced that some of the assault rifle shells found at the scene of the Lindo Valley slaughter matched those retrieved from the Lusignan and Bartica massacres.
The ballistics results on four 7.62×39 shells appear to indicate that the brutal killings were the work of the notorious Rondell Rawlins Gang, which has been implicated in the massacres that claimed 23 lives.
Examination of the skulls also indicated that some of the miners were beaten to death with a hammer.
A small sledge hammer, reportedly smeared with dried blood and hair, was found in the area where the brutal killings occurred.
The eight miners were discovered dead by their employer, Leonard Arokium, when he visited the camp two Saturdays ago. Their bodies were burnt. President Jagdeo acknowledged that the incident has raised a major controversy, and assured that it will be investigated fully.
“We have already asked for some forensic help from America, and all of the findings will be made public,” President Jagdeo assured.
Opposition Leader Robert Corbin had earlier issued a call for an independent enquiry into the slaughter, but according to President Jagdeo, such an enquiry should also take in all the killings that have occurred since the beginning of the year.
During his most recent press briefing, on Friday last, the Opposition Leader reiterated this call, given that President Jagdeo, during a recent media briefing, did not commit to an independent investigation.
Jagdeo also acknowledged the receipt of a letter from Alliance For Change leader Raphael Trotman, calling for an enquiry. Mining camp boss Leonard Arokium, who found the bodies, remains adamant that the attack, which wiped out his entire crew, was not carried out by the Rondell Rawlins Gang.
Arokium, who gave a detailed explanation of the layout of the area, said that it would be improbable for the gunmen to attack his camp.
According to him, his camp is situated near a mountain range, and it is unlikely that the fleeing gunmen would have travelled that area in their bid to escape, since they would have been risking running right into the arms of the Joint Services ranks who were guarding the Unamco Road which leads out from the area.
Some relatives of the slain miners have also expressed suspicion that the men were slain by members of the security services, a suggestion that the army has strongly refuted.
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