…this despite Simels’s admission that he was in possession of it
In light of charges that the computer telephonic surveillance equipment that was discovered with Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan in 2002 had made its way to the United States of America, more particularly the office of embattled US Attorney Robert Simels, Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo says that the equipment is in Guyana.
President Jagdeo was speaking at his first press briefing following his trip to Washington DC where he emphasised that this was confirmed by Commissioner of Police Henry Greene prior to the press briefing.
This is contrary to what Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency, Cassandra Jackson in her petition to the court to seize computers located in the office of Robert Simels, former lead attorney for Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan, told the United States Eastern District Court, Brooklyn. Agent Jackson had indicated that the US Customs and Border Patrol has recorded evidence of the shipment of equipment, believed to be the computer used by Khan to illegally intercept wire communications in Guyana.
In her affidavit to justify a request for seizing electronic equipment from Simels’s Office in 2008, she said that by Simels’s own statement, he was in possession and control of Khan’s computer.
“I believe that the illegal eavesdropping equipment will be located at the premises (Simels’ Office)….Additionally, there will likely be the data recovered from that equipment, in the form of compact discs, for example, stored at the premises, as well as shipping, importation and/or billing records related to the importation and receipt of the equipment stored at the premises.”
This move followed the interdiction of Simels for plotting to eliminate a witness pertaining to Khan’s trial.
The equipment was subsequently seized and turned over to the DEA’s main computer laboratory for analysis.
In August last year, head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon had told media operatives that the US State Department has no record of a request by Guyana to import any of the surveillance equipment that was held with Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan.
A previous statement attributed Simels had stated that Khan had purchased computer telephonic surveillance equipment from a Spy Shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with permission from the Guyana Government.
Dr Luncheon also said at that time that a request for the export of the equipment through the relevant law enforcement agency would have to be proffered for its procurement and there was no evidence that this was ever done.
When asked if the serial numbers on the equipment could not be traced, Dr Luncheon said that that was not a part of the official request.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had previously denied claims that the Government authorised Khan’s importation of a sensitive piece of electronic equipment and its seizure by the Joint Services.
In December 2002, Khan, Haroon Yahyah and Sean Belfield were arrested while they where traversing the East Coast of Demerara in a bulletproof vehicle.
At the time of their detention, an arms cache, a laptop computer, and an electronic device to track cellular phone calls were found.
The laptop computer also boasted a map of Guyana and the various cell sites operated at the time by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company.
When they were arrested, one of the men had told police that they were hunting the infamous 2002 Mash Day escapees.
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