Aug 12, 2017 News
– Acting Top Cop denies misleading President
The psychological health of Andriff Gillard, the man at the centre of the alleged plot to assassinate President David Granger, was up for questioning as the Commission of Inquiry, (COI) into the allegation continued
Gillard had reported to the police that there was an alleged plot by East Bank Demerara businessman, Nizam Khan to assassinate President Granger. He told police that Khan offered him some $7 million to kill the president, shortly after the elections in 2015.
However, Gillard only lodged the complaint with the police in January of this year. Gillard has since accused members the Guyana Police Force of not taking his report seriously and trying to cover up the matter.
A COI was launched into the investigation.
Gillard was recalled to the COI yesterday, to face further cross examination from lawyers attached to the Commission.
The witness, who had identified himself as the proprietor of a taxi service, was questioned extensively about his psychological health, and the motive behind him lodging a compliant of such nature with the police.
During his line of questioning, Attorney Christopher Ram pointed out to the witness that he had taken some 21 months before giving investigators a statement with regards to the alleged assassination plot.
The witness could not give a reason why it took him so long to report the matter to the police. He however pointed out that he was becoming increasingly fearful for his life and those of his immediate family members. He claimed that Khan was threat to him.
Under cross examination, Gillard admitted to the commission too that he had borrowed money from Khan in the past, but would always repay him.
Questioned about the nature of his business, Gillard told the Commission that he owns a dredge and has traded gold for some time.
The lawyer then went on to ask the witness about brushes with the law.
“Were you ever charged with an offence concerning dishonesty?” the Attorney asked, before confronting Gillard with a number of police reports against him
The reports ranged from larceny of sheep to unlawful wounding.
The witness accepted that he had been the subject of police investigations for some of the matters. Others, Gillard told the commission plainly, he could not recall.
Attorney Glenn Hanoman later questioned the witness as it relates to his mental health.
While Gillard agreed to a suggestion that the whole story stemmed from him wanting to borrow money from Khan to purchase a property, the witness denied planning the whole story on his own, just to get attention from the authorities.
“You’re enjoying this aren’t you…the attention?” Hanoman asked
Hanoman then suggested to Gillard that he had a mental condition which causes him to seek attention from those in authority.
“Have you ever sought treatment for any psychiatric condition?” the lawyer asked
“No,” replied Gillard, by now becoming increasingly defensive
The witness was nonetheless further pressed about the issue. The questions caused Gillard to retort, “I look mad to you?”
“I believe so,” the lawyer stated, noting that that he had been observing Gillard.
Questioned later about his visit to the Office of the President prior to lodging the complaint with the police, Gillard told the commission that he went to Office of the President to seek asylum, because he was living in torment.
“I think it’s funny that you mentioned those two words… asylum and torment,” Hanoman mused.
“Well what I meant to say is that I went there to seek rescue, because no one else was listening to my concern,” Gillard quickly clarified.
The witness went on to state that based on his experience, he believed the police were not taking his complaint seriously, because of their relation with Nizam Khan.
“And you believed Nizam Khan controlled the Police Force?”
“It’s not what I believe, it’s what I know,” Gillard said
“In your head you know that Nizam Khan controls the Guyana Police Force.”
“Yes,” Gillard responded.
“And in your head, Nizam Khan was behind a matter which got you evicted from your former place of residence?”
“He keep telling me that I is stupid black man… if I did kill Granger like he asked me to, I wouldn’t get put out”
Hanoman went on to ask Gillard about the threats.
“You were so afraid of Nizam Khan, yet after you were put out of the residence you went to rent a place right next door to him.”
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I wanted to keep an eye on him,” Gillard said of Khan.
Grilled further about the assassination plot, the witness maintained that he had nothing to do with plotting to kill the President.
Meanwhile Assistant Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine during the cross examination maintained his views that the investigations were not adequately conducted.
He agreed with suggestions that the investigations were lethargic and unprofessional.
During the line of questioning it was suggested to the witness that he had prematurely briefed and misled the President on the matter during an initial stage of the investigation.
Ramnarine denied the suggestion. He instead noted that the President had requested to be briefed on the matter and since he was acting Commissioner of Police at the time, he acceded to the request.
The COI was slated to end to yesterday. However Attorneys Ram and Hanoman raised concerns over the decision. The Attorneys requested time to call additional witnesses and prepare closing submissions.
As such, the Commission is set to continue next Wednesday.
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