Apr 05, 2018 News
-Attorney Nigel Hughes informed Henry Greene individuals were using slain miner’s phone
Attorney- at-law Nigel Hughes yesterday accused former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, and the top brass of the police and army of ignoring offers of assistance from a reputable British forensic firm to conduct an independent investigation into the Lindo Creek killings.
Hughes also said that he had informed Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene, that individuals appeared to be using the cell phone of Dax Arokium, one of the slain miners.
And in a “testy exchange” with Greene, he had accused the Top Cop of stalling the investigation.
Taking the stand armed with a file containing several statements and news clippings, Hughes told the Lindo Creek Commission that miner George Arokium had retained his firm in late June 2008, to ensure the families of those slain got “an independent and fair” investigation.
The attorney recounted that on June 30, he sent a letter to Commissioner Greene.
“I indicated to him that we had noted his public commitment to a fair investigation.”
According to Hughes, he notified the Top Cop that his firm had contacted a United Kingdom forensic science firm, which had indicated its willingness to assist in the investigation.
Copies of the letter were also sent to the Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Gary Best, Hughes said, noting that at the time the families had feared that the police and army were involved in the killings.
In his letter, Hughes told Greene: “You will no doubt appreciate that given your public statements that members of the Guyana Police Force or the Guyana Defence Force were not involved in this dastardly incident, that any independent review or analysis by persons competent in the arena of forensic examination will only serve to corroborate your exoneration of members of the GPF or the army…
“Our clients are extremely concerned about the integrity or impartiality of any investigation conducted by either the Guyana Police Force or the Guyana Defence Force into the deaths of their relatives, given their fears that members of either the Guyana Police Force or Guyana Defence Force, or both, might have been involved in the deaths of their relatives.”
The attorney said that Commissioner Greene responded on June 1, 2008, acknowledging receipt of the letter. He said that Chief-of-Staff Best did not respond.
But Hughes said he then learnt “by public statements by Greene”, that the Government was seeking assistance from a US forensic team.
Hughes said, he again wrote to Greene indicating that the UK forensic sciences experts were available.
In his letter to Greene, Hughes stated that his firm was in contact with the UK forensic science experts.
He said that his letter to Greene included the qualifications of one of the experts, along with an e-mail dated June 30, in which the expert included his recommendations and likely costs.
That letter was also dispatched to Home Affairs Minister Rohee; the British High Commissioner and Chief-of-Staff Best. Rohee never responded.
According to Hughes, his firm also expressed concern that the crime scene was being “contaminated and degraded as time passed, and we wanted our experts to observe the entire process in the investigation.”
After the US team indicated that it was “either not willing or available,” Hughes wrote to the Commissioner saying that the UK experts were in Trinidad and could come “at very short notice.”
Greene, he said, responded in a letter indicating that the US team was no longer available “and I should maybe refer to Rohee” about the UK forensic team.
According to Hughes, he would later be involved in “a testy exchange” with Greene, in which he indicated a loss in confidence in the ability of Guyana Police Force to conduct a fair investigation.
“You will no doubt recall, that when it became apparent that the capacity to conduct an comprehensive independent investigation into these gruesome murders was beyond the capacity of the Guyana Police Force, we secured, retained and recommended to you one of the premier investigative services in the world…an offer you declined, despite the fact that the Americans had made it clear that they were unable to provide any assistance because of budgetary constraints,” Hughes’s letter to Greene stated.
“Our client learnt through the press that you had an expressed preference for forensic services from Trinidad and Jamaica…
“It might have slipped your recollection that our client has not been informed of the results of the DNA identification procedure, which was apparently conducted by the Jamaican experts.
“This is a continued source of considerable pain for all of the relatives of the deceased, as they were unable to have the remains of their deceased relatives scientifically identified, so that they could bring closure to this extended period of agony.”
In his “testy exchange,” Hughes also indicated to Greene that, “since at the end of June we had offered these services, it appeared that he (Commissioner Greene) had deliberately delayed the investigation.”
SLAIN MINER’S PHONE BEING USED
Hughes also told the Commission that in August 2008, his firm received information that the cell phone of slain miner Dax Arokium was being used.
“We managed, through our own resources, to get a printout of all the calls that had been made from his phone. We believe that phone was being actively utilized. “
He said one call was made in August 18, at around 14:04 hrs. The calls continued up to August 25, 2008.
Hughes said that his firm tried both the listed and blocked numbers, and got responses on two occasions. But the individuals answering terminated the calls when “we didn’t provide the appropriate response.”
Hughes said he informed Commissioner Greene of the use of the slain miner’s phone. According to the attorney, Greene denied having information about Dax Arokium’s phone number.
“We responded that this is not correct; Mr. Arokium had specifically provided that information to the police officers and…the Minister of Home Affairs who visited his home. “
Slain Miner’s mom
Hughes also read what he described as “a revealing and moving” statement that he had taken from Yonette Torres, the mother of slain 17-year-old miner, Nigel Torres.
In her statement, Mrs. Torres, who is from Kwakwani, said that on June 5, she saw Dax Arokium going in the backdam.
“I asked if he knows my son and he said yes, and I told him to ask my son to be careful.”
Later in the week, she allegedly saw police vehicles speeding to the waterfront.
On Father’s Day, she saw a number of Joint Services ranks. She asked one of the ranks if there was anyone in the backdam, “and he said, with his face suspicious, that there was no one in the backdam. He then told me that they had ‘boomed the backdam’, (destroyed everything).
“The next day my sister asked when last I had seen my son and I said that I didn’t know, and I was beginning to worry. She then said that I should ask around because she had heard that the Joint Services had shot some boys down in the backdam.”
“Later…I heard from one of the sisters in my church that my son was indeed dead. She said had spoken to ‘Mr. Rookies’ (Arokium) who went into the back-dam and had seen nothing but bones.
“I don’t feel that it was Fine Man and his gang that did this act because Fine Man is said to have cooked, eaten and then tied up and burnt the entre place, and there was no smoke that could be seen by the helicopter that was constantly flying above.
“I gave a picture of my son and a statement to a police rank who asked if I thought that is the Joint Services or Fine Man, and I said I don’t know.”
Hughes also referred to a statement he had taken from a Mr. Fernandes, who alleged that around July 7, 2008, police ranks had come to his camp, where they had found some ‘weed.’
The ranks had then taken him and another worker to Christmas Falls and had given then cutlasses and ordered them to “clean up,” the area.
Hughes said that Fernandes stated that while they were at Christmas falls, they heard gunshots. He was kept at Christmas Falls for most of the day, and he later learn that “the men at Lindo Creek had been killed.”
Jun 24, 2021Kaieteur News – The domestic-based contingent of Guyana’s Senior Men’s National Team along with some of their overseas based counterparts arrived in the USA last evening ahead of final...
Jun 24, 2021
Jun 24, 2021
Jun 23, 2021
Jun 23, 2021
Jun 23, 2021
Kaieteur News – Anyone who has read my analyses the past 32 years would know that I have literally begged people to... more
Kaieteur News – Cubans should not be penalised because of the alleged discovery of a human trafficking ring involving... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]