Lawyers of Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan, who was deported Friday from the US to Guyana, say that they are paying close attention and are prepared to file criminal charges if evidence is trumped up against their client.
Yesterday, lead lawyer, Glen Hanoman, is the only one allowed to contact Khan, 47, who was accused and convicted in the US of leading a deadly operations of drug smuggling.
He is being held at a heavily guarded police lockup on the East Coast of Demerara.
On his deportation Friday night, he was held by security officials at the Timehri airport and whisked to the Police Headquarters at Eve Leary, and questioned about his alleged orders to kill TV show host, Ronald Waddell and boxing coach, Donald Allison in the 2000s.
“We recognise lots of gossip surrounding my client as against any evidence at all. We know for a fact that they don’t have any evidence. We know for a fact that advice has already been received by the police before the interview, received shortly before his arrival…and they don’t have evidence to charge,” Hanoman told Kaieteur News yesterday.
“This 72 hours to hold him is really unlawful because we should really hold somebody if they have some sort of evidence. The police have already received legal advice. I can tell you nothing incriminating was said during the interview at Eve Leary by my client.”
The police have held Khan under tight security with not even the media given an opportunity to take photos of a man who has claimed he placed his resources to fight crime on behalf of the Government in the 2000s when the country was under siege from criminals.
The then Government of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, under Bharrat Jagdeo, has even been accused helping him procure wiretapping equipment for phones as part of the crime fight.
“That being the case of no evidence on the advice, they ought not to hold him. Even from the time the interview concluded and nothing incriminating coming out, or nothing further, he should be released. We understand the politics of it,” Hanoman said.
The country is divided on Khan. He is largely seen as a saviour at a time when criminals ran riot and police were afraid to wear their uniforms and were even padlocking the gates of the stations.
Tens of police ranks and security officials were killed, including the former head of the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit, Senior Superintendent Vibert Inniss.
On the other hand, the Coalition Government says there have been increasing calls for Khan, who they say ran a “Phantom Squad”, of ex-security officials, should answer for his crimes.
Khan said he placed his personal finances and resources to help the then PPP/C government and the people of Guyana.
“The thing we are most worried about is that at the 11th hour, some statement might be fabricated, somebody comes out of the woodwork, something or the other. That is what we most worried.
Looking at it closely, we have a very good idea what is in the police file. Any new material coming into the police file or backdated or so we would know,” Hanoman claimed.
“It is an offence under the law where people conspire to procure convictions against persons who they have no evidence against. If charges are trumped, we are prepared to file criminal charges too, even if they have to be done privately. We accept that there is a lot of propaganda and pressure on the police.”
Reportedly, a police woman who snapped a photo of Khan being processed at Sparendaam on Friday night has been placed under close arrest.
The photo has been shared online.
Hanoman, and attorney-at-law Everton Singh-Lammy both complained Friday night of difficulties in access to their client.
On Saturday, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, said he was briefed but was unwilling to speak on the matter.
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 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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