…ignore threats by Anil Nandlall
The police abandoned all pretence of impartiality and neutrality when they signaled that they may institute charges against Kaieteur News reporter Leonard Gildharie. Gildharie was the recipient of an epithet-laced conversation with Attorney General Anil Nandlall on October 25, last.
The contents of the conversation were made public after a copy was handed over to the police by Publisher Glenn Lall. Lall also gave three statements and transcript of the telephone conversation to the police.
In the conversation, Nandlall told Gildharie that Kaieteur News had become a very dangerous place and that he should leave to avoid being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yesterday morning the police threatened to arrest Gildharie at his home. The reporter said that ranks turned up at his home and invited him to the police station. Immediately, he questioned whether he was under arrest only to be told that he was not. He said that he informed them that if he was not under arrest then he would complete some business at hand before venturing to the police station.
Gildharie said that the ranks insisted that he accompany them to the police station. He said that he asked about the consequences should he refuse and was told that the police would then be prepared to take “it to the next level.” They drove in his car to the Brickdam Police Station and at that stage he was considered under arrest.
At the police station and in the absence of his lawyer Gildharie declined to answer any question. The police acquiesced. His Attorney duly arrived and a new appointment has been rescheduled.
By then, the police learnt that some mobile phones have a feature that allows the owner to record every telephone conversation over the instrument. Investigating rank, Deputy Supt Michael Kingston, had been pursuing the line that the call between Nandlall and Gildharie had been intercepted. He even presented to Gildharie law volumes on interception of wireless telecommunication.
Since then, lawyers having examined the Interception of Communication Act, are questioning the police pursuit of charges against anyone associated with the Nandlall telephone conversation.
The Act states, inter alia, ‘Intercept in relation to telecommunication means, (b) monitoring and recording or modification of, or interference with the telecommunication system by means of which the communication is transmitted so as to make some or all of the communication available to a person other than the sender or the intended recipient of the communication and interception shall be construed accordingly.’
The lawyer said that the call was not intercepted since it reached the intended receiver uninterrupted. Certainly the receiver could not intercept his own call in accordance with the wording of the Act, he added.
Meanwhile the police are still to question Nandlall. Attorney at law, Chris Ram, said that in what is certainly a case of the state using the Guyana Police Force or the policemen placing themselves as tools of the administration.
The investigation has nothing to do with the threat of physical harm to Kaieteur News. Rather it has to do with protecting Nandlall from his own outburst.
Publisher Glenn Lall recalled three of his staff members spending a night in the cells of the Brickdam Police Station for merely driving around State House twice within an hour.
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