Aug 03, 2012 News
-but AFC still wants viewing by UK ballistics expert
“We know who was armed with shotguns and we have statements from those who discharged rounds…”
-Crime Chief Seelall Persaud
By Michael Jordan
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law Enforcement) Seelall Persaud said yesterday that the policemen who shot and killed three Linden protesters have been identified.
But Persaud declined to say if anyone had ordered the ranks to shoot, stressing that the police investigation is still ongoing and that a Commission of Inquiry is also to be held to ascertain who is culpable.
Yesterday was tentatively identified as the deadline for the completion of the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Independent Commission of Inquiry.
“Shotguns (were used),” the Crime Chief said, while asked to verify a Kaieteur News story which quoted police sources as stating that copper-coated shotgun pellets were extracted from the slain men.
“We know who was armed with shotguns and we have statements from those who discharged rounds.”
Persaud has said that only four shotgun cartridges were missing from the ammunition that police ranks took to the scene.
An official said earlier this week that the Force’s ballistics team has shotgun casings that were allegedly retrieved from the scene of the protest. By comparing the casings with those fired from the shotguns, investigators should be able to ascertain who shot the protesters.
But top police sources said that up to yesterday, investigators were still to hand over all of the shotguns for testing. A source said that one shotgun was tested, but the firing pin and other markings did not match those on the cartridges that were found.
Crime Chief Persaud’s disclosure is unlikely to quell allegations that at least one police rank, who had a partly-concealed handgun, shot at the protesters.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) in particular has expressed a lack of confidence in the police being able to conduct an impartial investigation into the tragedy.
Yesterday, AFC Executive Member Nigel Hughes accused the police of attempting to stymie the party’s attempts to bring United Kingdom’s Dr. David Robinson, to view the police ballistics tests.
Hughes stated that an application was sent on Monday to the Commissioner of Police requesting Dr. Robinson’s participation in this aspect of the investigation.
However, Hughes said that he was told that the UK expert has to get a work permit and that the police are requesting a photocopy of his passport.
“I think this is an attempt to delay his arrival or frustrate it. A work permit takes three or four weeks (to acquire).”
Hughes has said that the AFC has ‘significant evidence’ relating to the Linden killings, which the party intends to release to international agencies in order to protect the eyewitnesses.
Asked yesterday if government was willing to expedite the process for a work permit for the UK expert, a senior Government official told Kaieteur News that Guyana has its own ballistics expert.
According to the government official, the local ballistics expert “has been resorted to on numerous occasions, and has given testimony to the satisfaction of stakeholders.”
The official also said that he is unaware if a decision has been made about the UK expert.
“The pathologist (Trinidadian Professor Hubert Daisley) came, but he came and observed, and with him coming and observing, this opens the door for the ballistics expert to come,” the official said.
Professor Daisley had viewed the autopsy after receiving a request from the AFC. His pronouncement that metal fragments that appeared to be from bronze-tipped bullets were extracted from the victims had added fuel to reports that a police rank carrying a handgun had fired into the crowd.
The Crime Chief’s disclosure came two days after police issued a release refuting a Kaieteur News story which stated that the Force’s ballistics experts had viewed the ‘fragments’ under a microscope and concluded that they were shotgun pellets.
The official said that the experts explained that the pellets bent out of shape on impact, and this could have caused them to be mistaken for bullet fragments. The source said that similar copper-coated pellets were extracted from some of the other wounded protesters.
A police official told Kaieteur News that the ‘fragments’ from the dead men were placed in sealed containers. According to the official, after viewing the autopsies, the Trinidadian forensic pathologist affixed his signature to the seals before the containers were handed over to the police.
Some police sources are asking why their colleagues were using the copper-coated cartridges, which are far more lethal than cartridges loaded with ‘birdshot’.
They explained that the ‘birdshot’ cartridges could just as effectively dispersed the unarmed gathering.
It is believed that the ranks were standing about 15 feet from the protesters when they opened fire directly at them.
The sources also suggested that the ranks should have aimed at the ground and that the controversial water cannon should have been deployed to Linden before, rather than after the protests had escalated.
May 25, 2022Kaieteur News By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with WD Hotel & Mall Charity & Dave’s West Indies Imports On the back of a thrilling T20-like five-wicket win over defending...
May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022
May 24, 2022
Kaieteur News- Recently, two ministries – Natural Resources and Foreign Affairs – held a seminar under the theme, “Opportunities... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – The Summit of the Americas, scheduled to be held in Los Angeles from June 8 to... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]