Latest update March 27th, 2023 12:59 AM
Feb 07, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Telephone records were produced during Monday’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the March 2020 General and Regional Elections debunking claims made by now retired Commissioner 0f Police (ag) Leslie James that he was unable to contact Assistant Commissioner of Police, Edgar Thomas during the Elections ruckus.
Thomas, who is also Head of the Presidential Guard Unit, submitted telephone records to the Commission during interrogation by the COI’s Commissioners. This is his second appearance before the Commission.
Thomas testimony follows that of the former Police Commissioner who during his testimony said that Thomas was instructed to be removed from his post for failing to respond to his (James) telephone calls. However, Thomas told the Commission that James’ statement was untrue.
According to Thomas, who served as Regional Commander Division 4 ‘A’ at that time, said the decision to remove him from the post occurred after he refused to evacuate the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) Command Centre located in the Ashmin’s Building on Hadfield and High Streets, Georgetown due to a bomb threat, which later proved to be a hoax.
He said that James was in communication with former Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers who complained that he (Thomas) refused to comply with her instructions to clear the building. As a result, Thomas said he was relieved of his duties.
Myers is currently before the criminal court facing charges in relation to elections fraud.
On Monday, Commissioner and retired Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh raised the issue again during re-examination of Thomas’ evidence.
“Mr. Thomas, Police Commissioner Leslie James appeared before us and gave evidence and my clear understanding from the evidence, is that he made repeated efforts to reach you but could not, what is your response?” Justice Singh asked.
Thomas replied, “It may be that the commissioner, in my opinion, at that time is being a stranger to the truth. I have records which indicate I was in constant contact with the administration of the Guyana Police Force including the Commissioner of Police, I have it here!,” he said waving a colour-coded document in his hand.
The document, which was also displayed on an LED screen, showed several highlighted areas with Thomas indicating that the area coloured green represented his communication with the former Top Cop.
Thomas told the Commission that he recalls being at the Brickdam Police Station when communicated via telephone with the former Police Commissioner. He said after that phone call, his communication with his senior was constant.
“He told me if I can’t get the job done, he will do it himself!” Thomas told the Commission as he recalled his conversation with James.
However, the former Police Commissioner during his testimony said that during the commotion at the GECOM office on Hadfield and High Streets, he repeatedly tried to contact Thomas, who was in charge of operations on the ground, via radio and telephone but his efforts proved futile.
“Mr. Thomas testified that he was instructed by you to have the people vacate Ashmin’s building. Mr. Thomas also testified that you were forcefully instructing him that people must vacate the building,” Senior Counsel for the COI, Sophia Choti suggested to James during his appearance at the Presidential COI in January.
“That is not true,” James said.
He, however, admitted that he did instruct Thomas to “fall back” from the commanding position.
James testified this was not because he did not follow an instruction to clear the building, but rather because he became unreachable by phone and radio.
“As far as I remembered, I used both of my telephones and I tried making contact with him; the number that I expected him to answer. In fact, I was communicating with him all along prior to that day,” Mr. James testified.
The former Police Commissioner said that with calls to the Assistant Commissioner going unanswered, he appointed Thomas’s Deputy, Superintendent Phillip Azore to act as the Regional Commander.
Mr. James also said he learned of the bomb scare via news reports but he never spoke to Myers.
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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