Jan 13, 2021 News
Gruesome murder of West Berbice teens…
Kaieteur News – Even as Director of the Argentine Forensic Team (EAAF), Dr. Luis Fondebriber has stated that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has never made any offer for him to view videos of the autopsies conducted on the Berbice teens who were slain in early September 2020, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Guyana Police are countering his claims.
The murdered teens are Haresh Singh 16 and the Henry cousins, Joel and Isaiah ages 16 and 19 respectively. It has been four months since they were killed and police are yet to find their killers.
Dr. Luis Fondebrider, had been brought in by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) to assess whether or not his team can help in solving the case or not. He conducted a four-day visit, in December 2020 where he visited the crime scene and family members of both Singh and the Henry cousins.
On January 6, it was reported in a Kaieteur News article titled, “FBI assisting police in solving West Coast Berbice teens’ murder”, that Dr. Nehaul Singh, had advised that the EAAF director could be provided with a video of the autopsy conducted on the teens. With a copy of the video, he would be able to form his own opinion or conclusion. Well-placed police sources had said that Dr. Fondebriber was yet to respond to them.
Responding to these statements, Dr. Fondbriber in a letter published in yesterday’s edition of this paper wrote, “A report carried in both the Stabroek News and Kaieteur News on January 6 states, that an offer had been made to me to view the video of the autopsy conducted on the youths murdered on West Coast Berbice and that “the authorities are awaiting a response on this from Dr. Fondebrider.” For the benefit of your readers, “I wish to clarify that at no time did I receive such an offer.”
He continued that during his visit to Guyana, a formal meeting on December 15 with the Minister was the only time, which he had an opportunity to meet with officials since his efforts to meet the pathologist who performed the autopsy and the Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum were unsuccessful. Fondebriber went on to add that he had written to the Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn on December 21, requesting a number of reports in order make a professional assessment of the murders.
He wrote that to date he has not received any replies form the relevant officials and cannot understand how it is that GPF stated that they had offered him the chance to see the video of the autopsies.
Both the GPF and Ministry of Home Affairs have since sent out respective statements calling Fondebriber claims false. GPF stated that his letter was filled with inaccuracies and advised, “In a matter of this nature that has national importance, it is irresponsible to make such public claims that are contrary to the facts of the reality of what transpired.”
The Home Affairs Ministry and GPF acknowledged the meeting Fondebriber spoke about. However, they both argued that it was at that same meeting that Fondebriber was offered to view the video of the autopsies.
GPF in its press release stated, “It was in this meeting in the presence of all attendees that the offer was made for the Guyana Police Force to share with him a copy of the video of the post mortem examinations conducted on the Henry boys and to date, the Administration of the Guyana Police Force is not in receipt of a formal response from Dr. Luis Fondebrider as it relates to that offer”.
The Home Affairs Ministry in its respective release also stated, “At this meeting, Dr. Luis Fondebrider was advised that he would be provided with the video of the autopsies conducted in relations to Berbice incidents”.
The ministry also added that “he would be provided with the forensic reports of those autopsies as well and even granted him another offer to have a meeting with Dr. Nehaul Singh, the Government Pathologist, who at the time was on his way to duty in Lethem”.
The brutal slaying of the teens in early September of last year had sparked protests, robberies, and the blocking of the roads in West Coast Berbice. Several vehicles were burnt during the protests as access to and from Berbice were cut off for days.
The mutilated bodies of Joel, 16, and Isaiah Henry, 19, were the first to be discovered next to a coconut farm at Cotton Tree Backdam, West Coast Berbice.
A rice farmer was arrested as one of the suspects for their murder. A few days later, amidst the violent protest, his grandson, Haresh Singh, 17, was also killed in an apparent retaliation.
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