Aug 17, 2017 News
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum has written to the Commission of Inquiry, (COI) established to investigate the alleged plot to assassinate President Granger requesting an opportunity to rebut certain statements made by Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Ramnarine.
Blanhum had previously testified before the COI about his involvement in the investigations. But shortly after, Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine took the stand.
During his testimony, Ramnarine expressed views that the Investigations into the matter were poorly conducted and that Crime Chief was influenced by Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud who was on leave at the time. The Assistant Commissioner testified that Blanhum briefed him on the status of the investigation on March 30, 2017.
But in his letter to the Commission, Blanhum rebutted claims made by Ramnarine, describing them as “deliberate falsehoods.”
He denied too that he was not responsible for releasing the alleged mastermind, behind the plot, Nizam Khan on bail. Further, Blanhum said that he never briefed Ramnarine on Mach 30, 2017 or volunteered any such information.
“I never told him I granted bail to Nizam Khan because at 5:30 hours on that said date, I had no knowledge that Nizam Khan was placed on bail.
Blanhum maintained that he was only informed that Khan had been released on bail, after Assistant Superintendant of Police Mitchell Caesar briefed him on the status of the investigation, the following day.
In this regard, the Crime Chief referred to the statements by Assistant Commissioner, Ramnarine as nothing more than “appalling.”
Sharing his views on the development, Attorney –at- Law, Glen Hanoman noted that Blanhum is making an attempt at a Salmon letter.
Hanoman is representing Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud at the Commission.
The letter, he explained should afford persons the opportunity to return to the stand and defend themselves against statements made by other witnesses during the Commission. He explained that this is usually initiated before the conclusion of the COI, so as to provide clarifications to the Commission and attorneys involved with an opportunity to include the new information in their closing submissions.
Hanoman noted too, he believes based on a review of the letter, that Blanhum is seeking the opportunity to return to the stand since certain things would have come out when Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine gave evidence that impacted him (Blanhum).
“(Blanhum) has given evidence before him so he may not have addressed that, and I think he is now crying for an opportunity to address any possibility of an adverse finding.”
In response, Chairman of the Commission, Assistant Commissioner Paul Slowe, told the Commission that the application by the Crime Chief is one which will be given adequate consideration and a decision will be made pursuant to that.
During his testimony before the Commission, Blanhum had related that on March 29, 2017, he received information from the Ministry of the Presidency about an alleged plot to kill the President. Blanhum recalled that as a result, he had instructed ranks of the Guyana Police Force, (GPF) to launch an investigation into the matter.
Blanhum said that as a result, the man identified as Andriff Gillard, told a story to Detective Caesar. He said that Caesar later recorded 17 pages of statements from Gillard about the alleged plan to kill the president.
The plot had detailed a bounty of $7M was offered to kill President Granger some time in 2015. Gillard had claimed that he went to borrow $6M from a businessman, Nizam Khan, who is said to be gold miner. Instead, the businessman offered $7M.
Blanhum said that as a result of the statements, businessman Nizam Khan was arrested. According to Blanhum, a search was also conducted at the home of the businessman, but nothing of evidential value was recovered.
Given the nature of the allegation, Blanhum told that instructions came from the police legal advisor to hold a confrontation between the complainant (Gillard) and the businessman.
However he noted that it was brought to his attention that Gillard was shifting his story and focusing on the personal issue with investigators.
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