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Thursday, May 11, 2006
Shouldn't the Trinidadian Millard have been charged here first?

Dear Editor,

Just recently, the authorities conducted a raid on a home and uncovered ammunition, a firearm and a Trinidadian living illegally in Guyana. It was quickly determined who the individual was, and that he is wanted in his native country on a series of charges, including murder. The authorities also found out that he was able to obtain a Guyana passport during his stay in Guyana.

We were also told that the suspect denied any knowledge of the assassination of the Minister Sawh, or other murders and he was shipped off to his homeland to face charges there.

Did the authorities investigate the suspect's claim that he was a bodyguard for a businessman or pore over his telephone records to determine whom he was in contact with to figure out what activities he was really involved in? Should he not have been charged with illegal entry and weapons possession, then after serving his sentence, deported to Trinidad? And now that he's no longer in our custody, the authorities are scratching their heads over how he was able to obtain his passport.

In a case such as this, it would have been better not to let the suspect know his identity was determined and to delay the interrogation until all investigative leads, including checks on his activities during his stay were complete. That would have allowed the authorities the greatest psychological advantage during the interrogation. But this is Guyana, and from all indications, it appears as if there's a lot of activity going on 'behind the scenes' when suspects are caught, interrogated or charged with serious crimes.

It's been said that the first casualty in any war is truth. That sentiment is seen nowhere as clearly as our war on drugs, corruption and crime in general.

The authorities have been running this war for a few years now. They spew 'propaganda' as truth; to cover their collective backslides in their effort, which has created distrust, bred contempt and disrespect for law enforcement.

You cannot solve problems by fighting the symptoms. You have to go after the problems themselves.

Yours faithfully,

Joe Owen