– but want protection for families, assurance plea bargain arrangements will stand
Some of the individuals accused of being hired killers have indicated that they are willing to testify against those who paid them to do the job. But first they want reassurance that the police and legal officials stick to their side of the bargain and grant them reduced sentences.
The individuals include some who are serving lengthy sentences and others on remand.
An individual who is close to the accused men contacted Kaieteur News yesterday in response to comments made by Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum that indicated that the Force, with guidance from its legal advisors, has been encouraging the accused in ‘pay to kill’ murders to testify against their bosses.
In a story in Monday’s edition, Blanhum had stated that “The GPF, together with the legal advisors, have from time to time explored the legislative provision that allows these paid killers or hit-men to enter into a plea bargain arrangements, where in exchange for their testimony against the intellectual authors, they are offered a reduced sentence.”
Responding to the comments, one source said: “Some are willing to talk, but before they do that, they want to know what the reduced sentences will be. Everybody wants to know what the reduced sentences would be.”
Kaieteur News was told that the alleged ‘hit men’ also want reassurance that they, as well as their families, will be protected, once they testify.
One source explained that some ‘hit men’ opted to serve their sentences without identifying their paymasters, because the individuals who hired them ensured that the convicts and their families were financially secure.
But the men are reportedly also requesting that police re-open some cases in which individuals were wrongly charged or convicted in execution-style killings.
In the aforementioned article, Blanhum had stated that in investigating the ‘pay to kill’ murders, “investigators do not only focus on the actual perpetrators, but also on the intellectual authors and the financiers.
“The detectives are cognizant that the whole objective of those ‘pay to kill murders’, commonly referred to as contract killings is for the intellectual authors to go undetected.”
A number of ‘hit men’ are at present serving lengthy prison sentences, while their alleged paymasters remain unidentified.
One such case involved the June 30, 2011 gunning down of 72-year-old Clementine Fiedtkou-Parris in her Lot 42 Robb Street home. It was suggested that the elderly woman was slain over a property dispute she had with a wealthy individual.
During the trial, a caution statement provided by one of the accused outlined there was a plot by someone influential to murder the elderly woman.
In November 2015, four men were given a combined sentence of 324 years for Mrs. Parris’ murder.
Orwin Hinds, called “Red Man,” Kevin October called, “Troy,” Cleon Hinds and Roy Jacobs called “Chippie” or “Black Boy,” were each sentenced to serve 81 years in prison.
The alleged ‘intellectual author’ was never charged.
In another case, two men, Lennox Wayne, called ‘Two Colours’ and Elroy Doris ,were charged with the July 19, 2014 killing of Lusignan cosmetologist Ashmini Harriram, who was gunned down while heading to her home.
However, the individual who allegedly hired the men has not been charged.
A third case, which police had suspected was a ‘pay to kill’ murder collapsed. The victim, Bibi Rafeena Saymar, a 23-year-old hairdresser, died from multiple stabs she sustained in her two-bedroom flat at Hague, West Coast Demerara on May 29, 2010.
Police had charged her husband and another individual for her murder, while alleging that the latter was paid to kill Saymar.
However, the case against the husband was quashed in the Magistrates’ Court, while the alleged perpetrator was freed after a High Court trial.
Some of the recent alleged hired killings that police have solved include the slaying of Babita Sarjou, whose remains were dug up from an area behind her estranged husband’s home; the murder of 46-year-old businesswoman Sirmattie Ramnaress, found dead in her Diamond Housing Scheme residence in August 31, 2013; the murders by fire in December 21, 2014, of Theresa Rozario, 15, Feresa Rozario, 12, and Hilrod Thomas, 63; the February 2008 slaying of businessman Habiboodeen, 76, who was brutally beaten in his Ruby, East Bank Essequibo home, and the April 17, 2012, shooting death of 31-year-old truck driver Jadesh Dass on the Mahaica New Road.
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