…Lall says Jagdeo belongs behind bars
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has recommended to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) that
it investigates Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.
They could be the intellectual authors behind the grenade attack carried out at the newspapers’ Saffon Street office on June 4, 2016, he told a press conference, at Freedom House, yesterday.
This comment echoes the views made by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee, almost two weeks ago.
Jagdeo said, “This could be done by Glenn Lall, Nagamootoo and Ramjattan because they have a conspiracy to taint Harmon’s character.”
He called on the GPF to explore all options. He said that he believes that Nagamootoo’s motive for planning such an attack would be due to him “…feeling slighted; Harmon exercises more power in the Office of the President; (Nagamootoo) sits in an office like a junior minister, although he enjoys the trappings of the Prime Minister’s Office.”
The Opposition Leader said that Glenn Lall could be exclusively responsible for the attack also. He stated that Lall’s motive would be “to do this so that he (Lall) gets attention; his paper has been doing a little badly, not favourite so much now.
The circulation fell, and so it boosts your circulation; you become the story; (Lall) gets sympathy, so all the diplomats suddenly say ‘press freedom’.
He becomes a hero and he loves this. He has this hero complex”.
Jagdeo added that Lall could also be guilty, since he had complained about the PPP/C taking away his gun licences.
He stated, “It sets the stage for him to get back his gun licences and bodyguards again.”
Further, the opposition leader said that the attack could have been orchestrated by members of the criminal underworld as revenge against the Publisher.
Jagdeo asked, “Could it be that some unpaid bill or something was the reason for this? We saw the attack in the past on Kaieteur News; the sad killing of the pressmen.”
According to Jagdeo, the police need to consider all possibilities.
Jagdeo also listed the PPP/C as a possible suspect based on the press release which was circulated by the APNU-AFC government after the incident.
Jagdeo believes that the release had to be the work of government personnel, since it sought to immediately direct attention to the PPP/C by mentioning incidents which occurred under the PPP regime.
Two events which were highlighted in the statement were the removal of government advertisements
from the newspaper and the execution of five Kaieteur News pressmen in 2006.
Jagdeo discredited the suspicion against the PPP/C by stating that “for all the years we’ve been in office, we have never had that (grenade attack); even with the most hostile criticisms against us by Glenn Lall.
“When we were in office, when we had political power, we didn’t use political power to suppress him.”
APNU-AFC members of parliament were also called out by Jagdeo as being likely suspects. The opposition leader stated that this could be possible since the newspaper has been critical of some members of the current government.
The police force, in resolving the matter, needs to investigate all possible theories surrounding the attack. He suggested that each lead should be followed to the end before the force makes any pronouncements.
When asked last evening about his thoughts on the statements made against him by Jagdeo, Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall said, “Jagdeo’s only place in this country is behind bars. Further, during Jagdeo’s presidency, a grenade was thrown at the Kaieteur News press in Eccles. I have nothing else to say.”
Several entities have publicly condemned the act against the newspaper, including the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana, Private Sector Commission, Chilean Envoy, United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Guyana Public Service Union and a United States of America envoy to Guyana.
All of whom have embraced the position that the callous attack was against the right to freedom of expression afforded to all Guyanese.
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