Kaieteur News – Last Wednesday evening, Charrandass Persaud appeared on the Gildarie-Freddie show, and startled viewers with some descriptions that were not publicised before.
He said at the recent libel trial where he sued Khemraj Ramjattan of accusing him of accepting money for his yes vote in the no-confidence motion, Ramjattan called only one witness – Amna Ally. Charran went on to state that a simple answer from Amna sunk Ramjattan for 7 million dollars. Before we come to that, some background information should be given.
Ramjattan accused Charran of being bribed to vote for the opposition motion. Ramjattan spoke at the time of Charran’s manoeuvrings in relation to purchase of gold. The police began to investigate Ramjattan’s outpouring. The then police commissioner, Leslie James, told the press Charran was being investigated for national security purposes.
Readers need to keep in mind that at the time, Ramjattan had enormous authority in security matters. He was the minister of national security. Charran on the show revealed that after the vote, security officials seized documents from various government departments including the Gold Board without warrants.
Fast-forward to present, a few weeks ago, the trial was held, and the Guyanese people now have a mystery on their hand. The only witness called was Amna Ally who at the time of the no-confidence motion was a minister without the slightest connection to sensitive security matters. She was Minister of Social Cohesion.
The first question that comes to mind was why Ally and not the plethora of state officials that investigated Charran? Once subpoenaed, they had to give testimony for the defence. There were two witnesses who had to be compulsory attendees. One was the then commissioner of police. The other was at the time of the APNU+AFC government, the real second in charge – Minister of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon.
The commissioner and Harmon would have been in possession of the knowledge gathered from investigating Charran. Why were these men not on the witness stand? Did they choose not to testify thereby weakening Ramjattan’s case, assuming that he had a case in the first place?
Now for Charran’s revelation. Charran said Amna in answer to a question from Charran’s counsel told the court that she believes Charran voted according to his conscience. But Ramjattan’s point was that Charran was the recipient of a bribe and that was the determinant for his ‘yes vote’.
This was a most intriguing case. How can the defence have a witness whose testimony aids the plaintiff? Charran and his supporters, including this columnist, argued that conscience was the factor in voting. Ramjattan claimed otherwise and went public with his declaration of bribery. Yet his only witness believes conscience was Charran’s motive.
Now for the truth. Since the trial was not given widespread media coverage, do the Guyanese people know what was said in court? Is Charran telling the truth? If he isn’t, then the 7 million he won from Ramjattan is going to look like peanuts if Amna sues him for attributing words to her that never came out of her mouth.
I honestly cannot believe even for a fleeting moment that Charran would go in front of the cameras watched by large numbers and quoted Amna as saying what she did not say. No, I can’t believe that. He is a lawyer that fought libel cases in his career. He must know that to put words in the mouth of a national personality like Amna Ally is playing with big, big trouble.
I will leave this discussion by asserting that I believe what Charran said about Amna’s testimony. I end with another revelation by Charran on the show which can be accessed on YouTube. It symbolises the sad qualities of humans. If humans continue to embody that trait, freedom and philosophy will remain forever elusive.
Charran said that as an AFC parliamentarian, he and the rest of the AFC legislators were told at all times by the AFC leadership how to vote and their feelings were never asked for. His words on that show still ring in my ear – “Freddie, I was a yes man.”
‘Yes men’ and ‘yes women’ do huge harm to humanity. I believe people will shut their mouth in order to feed their children. It is only human to do so. We who egg on people to speak up cannot put food on our table. But the human has to be decent. If you enter politics to free people then you cannot willingly become a slave yourself. What I saw in the mistreatment of AFC’s second tier leadership was downright evil. If I were in that party during 2015-2020, I would have been in jail by now serving a sentence for murder.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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