– Archie Poole also released
Former Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen was taken into police custody yesterday in connection with the fire, which destroyed the Health Ministry’s building in Brickdam.
But she was released on $10,000 station bail around 19:00 hrs.
Attorney-at-Law Gregory Gaskin, who is one of the lawyers representing Mrs. Holder-Allen, said that the investigators had no evidence to link their client to the conflagration, and accused the police of going on “a fishing expedition.”
Police have also impounded Mrs. Holder-Allen’s vehicle.
Speaking to reporters at the South Road law firm, Mr. Gaskin said that the former Chief Magistrate had indicated to a senior police officer that she would submit herself to questioning yesterday in the presence of her attorneys.
But he said that at around 05:45 hrs yesterday, four carloads of policemen turned up at Mrs. Holder-Allen’s home.
Gaskin said that “ten to 12 ranks” then asked his client to accompany them.
“She was given time to prepare herself and was escorted to Brickdam (police station).
At around 09:00 hrs police interviewed her and asked “a range of questions”. The interview lasted for about an hour.
“At the end of the interview it was patently clear that
no nexus was created between our client and any aspects of the fire. There were tenuous suggestions made of conspiracy but she assured the questioners that she had no knowledge of the individuals. There is one person known to her and that is her cousin.
“It was suggested that the cousin was the person who drove the vehicle owned by Mrs. Holder-Allen. Mrs. Holder-Allen told the investigators that she alone is in possession of the vehicle.
“It’s a quantum leap from someone driving a vehicle and people being in a conspiracy,” Gaskin said.
“At the end of the interview, it was quite clear… that the police were on a fishing expedition,” he added.
According to the attorney, most of the questions focused on whether the former Chief Magistrate knew Mark Benschop and his colleagues who were arrested for disorderly conduct prior to the fire. Precious little was asked about the fire; more about her relationships …most questions had to do with her relationships with Mark Benschop.
“She acknowledged that she is familiar with these people, and there is the lingering feeling in her mind that her support for persons who chose to challenge the system…is why she is being singled out.
We, her attorneys, wish to assure the public that we will defend her vigorously…”
On Tuesday, Mrs. Holder-Allen had told Kaieteur News that she would have submitted herself for questioning yesterday.
Mrs. Holder-Allen is the presidential candidate for the recently established National Democratic Party. She had denied any involvement in the torching of the Health Ministry building and has alleged that the accusations against her are politically motivated.
But police allege that a vehicle she owns was at a house where ‘channa bombs’ were made.
Mrs. Holder-Allen has described this allegation, which was first made by President Bharrat Jagdeo, as “a blatant lie”.
The former Chief Magistrate is adamant that only she and her husband drive her vehicle..
Meanwhile, businessman Archie Poole, who was also detained earlier this week, was also released on station bail, yesterday.
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