A deported Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan remained in police custody yesterday, with authorities questioning him about two high-profile murders that happened more than a decade ago.
According to persons close to the investigation, Khan has opted not to say anything, except denying that he was in anyway involved in the killing of journalist and talk show host, Ronald Waddell, and boxing coach Donald Allison.
Sources said that the police files will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
After being flown into the country around midnight Friday, on an American Airlines flight 1513, Khan was taken straight away, in tight security, in a vehicle convoy to the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters, Eve Leary, where he was processed and questioned.
The police escorting him were heavily armed with a few of them masked.
He was reportedly removed and held at an East Coast Demerara facility before being brought back a few hours later to Eve Leary.
His lawyers, Glen Hanoman and Everton Singh-Lammy, were both critical of law enforcement authorities for not allowing them immediate access to their client.
Hanoman, standing in front of the CID headquarters in the wee hours yesterday, said he was made to wait an hour before being allowed to speak to Khan.
“Importantly, allegations were read to him in my absence. They knew I was outside waiting for him.”
The lawyer said that he was puzzled as the Constitution is very clear when it comes to persons in custody being allowed legal counsel without delay.
Singh-Lammy also expressed surprise at the police setting up roadblocks on the East Bank road to delay reporters who were following the convoy.
Hanoman said that Khan did not incriminate himself and refused to say anything without his lawyers.
Even if he had, it would likely have been inadmissible as the lawyers were not present.
Hanoman said that he pointed out that the murders took place 13 years ago so it would be expected that the investigations would be concluded.
He said that he is aware that the police’s Cold Case Unit had taken possession of the files and from his knowledge there is no evidence.
“Thirteen years to investigate the matter and not finished it? What else is there to finish? What I know about, the state of the file may not be accurate, but according to what I know, there is no evidence upon which he can be charged and I am hoping and praying that the police are not motivated to charge him.”
Yesterday, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, would not disclose much.
“I have been briefed,” he said in a short interview with Kaieteur News.
The police had been mandated to investigate the killings of both Waddell and Allison, following revelations during the trial of American attorney Robert Simels.
Simels was the lawyer representing Khan who was jailed 15 years for drug trafficking by the US courts.
An informant, Guyanese Selwyn Vaughn, who had secretly recorded Simels and was attempting to bribe and eliminate witnesses in the Khan trial, had testified that Khan had ordered the execution of both Waddell and Allison.
Waddell was executed outside his Subryanville, Georgetown residence on January 30, 2006, while Allison was gunned down outside the Ricola Boxing Gym in Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara, on September 8, 2005.
Vaughn told a New York court that Allison had facilitated the safe passage of guns for the Buxton gang, which was headed by the now-dead Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins.
Vaughn, in his recorded conversation with Simels, had also sought to link Khan and his ‘Phantom Gang’ to the killing of Waddell, a controversial TV talk show host.
Vaughn, a self-confessed former member of the ‘Phantom Squad’, testified that Khan ordered the execution of Ronald Waddell, an anti-Government talk-show host, at his home in Subryanville.
According to reports at the time, a dark-coloured car took the gunmen to the scene, where they were apparently watching Waddell’s movements from the seawall.
As soon as Waddell stepped into his car, two gunmen ran across the road and opened fire on the vehicle. They then ran back across the road, jumped into their car and sped away east along the highway.
Khan was said to have helped the People’s Progressive Party/Civic fight crime, using his resources to take down a number of criminal gangs which had been responsible for numerous murders, including killings of policemen and citizens.
He was said to have been in direct contact with former Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj (now deceased) and former Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy. Both men denied they were liaisons.
In June 2006, after a fallout out with the police and the Government, Khan, after fleeing Guyana, was arrested in Suriname.
He was flown to Trinidad and handed over to US authorities.
He was arraigned in a US court days later and in October 2009 was jailed 15 years on the charges.
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