Latest update June 3rd, 2023 12:59 AM
May 17, 2016 News
-welcomes recent announcement of inquiry
Following pronouncements by President David Granger that an inquest would be opened into the
assassination of former Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeow ‘Sash’ Sawh, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee has welcomed the move.
When asked why an inquiry was never launched into the killing of the PPP Minister, which occurred in 2006 while former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s government was in place, Rohee stated that he had no recollection of why this was never done.
During his weekly press conference yesterday, Rohee, who was the then Home Affairs Minister, did acknowledge that the PPP’s failure to hold the inquest while in Government would likely be held against it. This is especially in light of the fact that the promised external assistance that Government had announced it would have been seeking, never materialized.
“We welcome that,” Rohee was adamant. “They may come with the thing saying that we didn’t do it. But we didn’t do a lot of things. You name one government that does everything it is committed to doing in a manifesto. Take for example the APNU+AFC. How much have they done? I don’t think we could go back to… well we didn’t do it.
“So what I am saying is that we welcome that. They are the Government now and they are free to open any investigation or set up any board or commission of inquiry, or investigate any matter that was of concern to them while in the opposition. So let them carry on with their investigation, they have the authority to do so now and let the chips fall wherever they may.”
During the weekly televised show, ‘The Public Interest’, President Granger had stated that a ‘blood relative’ had approached him and appealed for an inquiry into ‘Sash’ Sawh’s brutal murder on April 22, 2006.
The head of state said that a formal Commission of Inquiry will be launched in due course, as part of a bigger quest to find answers to other unsolved cases back in the early 2000s. President Granger also noted that many were killed, including witnesses.
According to the President, his first commitment would be to assure relatives that the deaths will be investigated. Last year August, the President had promised, during a Berbice Slave Rebellion symposium, that thorough inquiries would be held into the killings of Sawh and all who were slain during the period between 2000 and 2008.
“When you have Ministers of government bringing in computers so you can track down people’s mobile phones; when you have a lot of men being shot at the back of their heads with their hands tied; when you have so many deaths which are not being investigated; when you have a minister of government who has been assassinated and you don’t have an inquest into his death, there is something stink, and we are going to investigate those deaths,” Granger stated.
“Never before in history have so many policemen been killed than during the tenure of office of Bharrat Jagdeo and that is why they constructed that monument (Fallen Heroes) and if you go to Buxton you will see another huge monument,” the President remarked, referencing the Monument in Buxton, East Coast Demerara, where the names of over 450 victims of extra-judicial killings over the last two decades are inscribed.
Sawh, his sister Phulmattie Persaud, Brother Rajpat Rai Sawh and security guard, Curtis Robinson, were gunned down on the evening of April 22, 2006 at the Minister’s La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara residence. The killing sent shockwaves throughout the nation and there were many questions and an abundance of speculation over his death. After a police investigation into the killing, one man, Jermaine ‘Skinny’ Charles, was charged. He was fatally shot by police, years later, after escaping from custody.
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