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Wednesday, April 05, 2006
If it was Felix it was 'very unprofessional'
Stabroek News
-President says about tape

In his first public statement on the alleged taped conversation between Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix and PNCR executive member, Basil Williams, President Bharrat Jagdeo says that if the voice is that of Felix then it was "very unprofessional for the Commissioner of Police to have held such a conversation.'

President Jagdeo was at the time speaking at a press conference at the Holiday Inn, JFK Airport in Queens, New York, according to a Government Information Agency (GINA) release.

The release yesterday said that the president spoke on a number of issues, including elections and the missing army AK-47s which he branded as sinister. The president told the media that the matter involving the tape was still under discussion, pointing out that the commissioner has denied that he was one of the persons whose voices were recorded in the conversation.

"I have not asked the commissioner to resign at this point in time," the president was quoted as saying. There have been calls in sections of society for the commissioner to resign.

The tape surfaced on March 20 when it was dropped off at media houses and other organisations and has since created waves countrywide with some persons holding the view that it is a private conversation and should not be used to judge either speaker while others say this argument doesn't apply as matters of public interest were broached.

The commissioner among other things told Stabroek News that he is questioning the authenticity of the tape and is not accepting the voice was his. He had asked that the maker of the tape come forward and prove that the voice on the tape is indeed his.

When he was first contacted by this newspaper the commissioner had said he had not heard the tape and that he had no desire to hear it but after listening to it he said he would not say the voice is his.

Williams had also said the same thing and has not admitted the voice is his. He had said that he is not sure the tape is of one conversation or a composite of several conversations adding that only the maker can confirm or deny this.

The conversation between the two persons included a discussion on the Agricola killings and the response time of the police to the crime scene. It also addressed the private sector's view on the response time and a call from a minister after the shooting had started. The conversation also mentioned in passing the Ronald Waddell killing, the Shaka Blair shooting in Buxton, the upcoming elections and what would happen if the deadline could not be met, as well as the alleged staged kidnapping of Sean Belfield's daughter.

President Jagdeo also said that the missing weapons were apparently smuggled out of the army base within a particular time frame around Mashramani. The release said he stressed that the loss of the weapons at this time, "seems sinister."

"These guns were taken from the army for one of two purposes: either for criminal activities or to spread political fear among people," he said.

He vowed that the army will follow every trail in its attempts to retrieve the weapons even if these lead to drug dealers in the country, criminals in Buxton or to political links.