Jan 06, 2016 News
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has confirmed that the late Sergeant Robert Pyle, a member
of its Intelligence Unit, was deployed on a legitimate operation in support of the Special Organized Crime Unit, (SOCU) on Wednesday December 30, 2015.
The confirmation came hours after the Private Sector Commission joined the opposition People’s Progressive Party in calling on the government for explanations into involvement of a Guyana Defence Force soldier in the alleged surveillance of the home of a civilian, as well as the circumstances that led to the high-speed chase that resulted in his death and that of the two other persons.
The PSC in a brief statement issued yesterday, stated that while it is saddened by the death of the three persons in the New Year’s Eve accident on Carifesta Avenue, it is alarmed by the media reports with regards to the circumstances leading up to the accident.
This newspaper had reported that GDF soldier, Sergeant Robert Pyle was engaged in a surveillance operation targeted at civilians and further, that he was engaged in a high-speed deadly car chase through the streets of Georgetown, chasing a vehicle which he believed contained the teenage daughter of Winston Brassington.
It was reported that minutes after the crash, the son of a popular city businessman had told police that he was chased by two cars, the occupants of which had earlier identified themselves as Intelligence Officers from the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and who had attempted to block his vehicle while he and his sister were leaving a Cowan Street, Kingston residence.
The businessman’s son reported that while on Carifesta Avenue, one of the cars that was chasing him spun out of control and slammed into an oncoming Canter truck.
Sergeant Pyle, his wife Stacy and the driver of the Canter truck Linden Eastman called ‘Smallie’ all perished in the crash.
The PSC had said that since these media reports have not been refuted by the relevant authorities, it is calling on the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police to bring clarity as to whether the allegations in the media are true and whether this was an authorized assignment carried out on behalf of either of these agencies.
“This matter has caused immense apprehension in the business community and we believe that answers are needed not only by us but by the larger society,” the PSC stated.
But the Guyana Defence Force declared, “it is normal for the Guyana Defence Force to support the Law Enforcement and Regulatory Agencies of Guyana in operational activities, especially at this time, as part of OPERATION DRAGNET.”
“Defence Headquarters once again takes this opportunity to offer condolences to the Families of Sergeant Robert Pyle, Mrs Stacy Pyle and Mr Linden Eastman who all lost their lives in the vehicular accident of last Wednesday Evening,” the GDF added.
On Monday the opposition People’s Progressive Party had also called on the government to answer questions about what it termed the “unauthorized use” of army ranks to conduct covert civilian surveillance.
“This particular incident is a clear example of the reckless misuse of the security and intelligence community in this country for political purposes,” the Party’s General Secretary Clement Rohee Rohee asserted.
He demanded that the Government issue a public statement to explain the surveillance of Brassington’s residence and the use of GDF ranks to conduct civilian surveillance.
Rohee called on Government to clarify who gave the directions to the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) to conduct the surveillance of civilian targets. The General Secretary also called on the administration to clarify the role of the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) in issuing directives to SOCU.
“(And finally) why was the spouse of the GDF rank in the vehicle at the time he was on a covert mission?”
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