Self-proclaimed eyewitness, Devon Lyte, was never on the rooftop of the building from which he claimed he saw police ranks shoot and kill robbery suspects Dextroy ‘Dutty’ Cordis, Kwame Assanah, and Errol Adams.
Commissioner of Police (ag) David Ramnarine said yesterday that this was confirmed in statements investigators received from the contractor and sub-contractor with whom Lyte was working. There was a third and similar statement from a security staffer at the same site.
“Our investigators are in possession of three statements which are very instructive, to the extent that Mr. Devon Lyte was never, ever on the roof of the building that he claimed he was on at the press conference Monday,” Ramnarine told journalists during a press conference.
“One of the statements is from the contractor, one from the subcontractor and one from the security supervisor.
“In fact, I have to let you know, and let the world know that on (March 28), (Lyte’s lawyer, Nigel Hughes) went to that location where his client seemingly was on the roof on the day in question, and enquired as to where specifically his client was.
“On being told that his client is a labourer, not a skilled worker, and works on the ground, with a ransom (concrete mixer) he left,” the Acting Top Cop said.
“It is painful that you can have someone turn up at your office, give what is purported to be a story that has national implications, that impinges the good work and reputation of a national institution and its officials, rush to publicise all over the world, and then, after the fact, you turn up at a location to find that it cannot be substantiated. It is not only grossly reckless, it is truly irresponsible behaviour.”
Flanked by Crime Chief Paul Williams, Office of Professinal responsibility (OPR) Head Heeralall Mackanlall and other senior officers, Ramnarine also remarked that “it is instructive to know, that Mr. Devon Lyte, since Sunday last, when he worked at that location, on the ground, has not turned up for work again.”
Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes has since issued a statement in response to Ramnarine, while also releasing statements that he said he received from three other eyewitnesses to the shooting at the seawalls (see other story).
OPR INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED
Ramnarine noted that it is a legal requirement that all unnatural deaths, including fatal shootings, are subjected to investigations and are sent for legal advice.
The investigation is being conducted by the OPR, and “not the CID,” the Top Cop said.
“In fact, on Monday afternoon, the learned attorney (Hughes) took his client to the CID Headquarters and in discussion with the Crime Chief, it was arranged for him to return with his client the following day. That did not happen.
“In fact, a senior detective, having called the learned attorney in connection with another matter, was then told by the attorney that Devon Lyte has some ‘family issues’ to sort out.”
Later, Hughes began to speak of protection for the persons whom he deemed to be his witnesses, including, some concerns Lyte said he had about his protection.
The Acting Police Commissioner appealed to individuals who may have witnessed the deadly confrontation at the seawalls to come forward. He noted that the public has the contact numbers for many of his senior officers.
Questioned as to if he will wait to see if Devon Lyte will still turn up to give a statement, Ramnarine said that Lyte’s “grace period has already expired.”
Ramnarine also stated that his investigators had visited the building from which Lyte said he saw the confrontation at the seawalls.
He declined to reveal the findings, but said what the investigators found was “very clearly in keeping with what I had seen in one of the dailies.”
Kaieteur News had visited the building and had noted that the shooting took place at least 350 yards (1050 feet) from Lyte’s work place. Between Lyte and the scene of the incidents, were almost two and half football fields (with the NIS and GNS sports club pavilions in between) as well as trees.
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