Guyana Resource Center
Set like a gem in the crown of South America, nestled on the North-Eastern shoulder, defying the raging Atlantic Ocean, Guyana's many waterways reflect the source of it's name "The Land of Many Waters"
Image hosting by Photobucket Image hosting by PhotobucketKaieteur Falls, the world's highest single drop waterfall (741 feet).Image hosting by Photobucket Image hosting by Photobucket
Google
Saturday, June 03, 2006
PM writes Felix on 'allegations'
-seeks immediate response
Winston Felix

Prime Minister Sam Hinds has written Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix asking for an immediate response to certain complaints and accusations being made against him.

No details of the complaints were given in the four-line announcement yesterday afternoon by the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon but the request by the PM is most likely in relation to a contentious taped recording doing the rounds.

Felix is expected back in the country today and could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

The tape is of a conversation between two men, one of whom sounds like the Police Commissioner. The two are discussing a theft that occurred at a political party's office and at one point one of the voices suggests that drugs be planted on the suspect for the purposes of determining whether she has any of the stolen foreign currency.

This remark has provoked controversy and calls for the Commissioner to be investigated. The tape furore has also taken on sinister connotations as it is believed that the circulation of the recording was a tactical ploy in the tense standoff between the joint services and figures in the underworld. Two tapes allegedly of Felix's conversations have now been circulated. The first was distributed just days after several businesses connected with businessman Roger Khan were searched as part of the operation to recover the army's 30 missing AK-47s. Khan also took a copy of the tapes to a meeting he had with US FBI and drug enforcement officials at the Ocean View Hotel. The police have issued an arrest warrant for Khan and he has also been indicted on a drug charge in the US. Khan has since been in hiding from the police.

Yesterday's move by the PM is significant because under the Constitution, the PM is the one of the two prescribed authorities for initiating disciplinary action against the Police Commissioner.

Article 211 of the Constitution says that Article 225 (which relates to the removal from office) shall apply to the office of the Commissioner of Police, and the prescribed authority for this purpose is either the PM or the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

Article 225(4) of the Constitution says that if the prescribed authority advises the President that the question of removing the officer from office ought to investigated, then

a) "the President shall act in accordance with the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, in appointing a tribunal which shall consist of a Chairman and not less than two other members, selected by the Judicial Service Commission from among persons who hold or have held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters…"

b) "that tribunal shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the President and recommend to him whether the officer ought to be removed under this article".

So presumably if the PM is dissatisfied with the response from Felix to his letter he could trigger this investigation.

Pressure

The commissioner has come under tremendous pressure since the tape came into circulation on Saturday on the heels of the other one, purportedly between him and PNCR member, Basil Williams, earlier this year.

The party official in the conversation is named as 'Mike Johnson'. The conversation began with the two persons discussing the loss of a substantial sum of foreign currency from the office of the leader of the party. The money was allegedly stolen by a secretary, a cleaner and a driver. The man on the tape told the person alleged to be the commissioner that he understood that the cleaner was about to leave the country and could be departing with a substantial amount of money.

A promise was then made to work on the issue immediately.

"But wha I gan do, I gan call narcotics and put drugs pun she…And leh deh search she, both she hand pieces and dah check-in piece."

Several references on the tape point in the direction of the PNCR being the party at the centre of the discussions. Congress Place has since said that no official of theirs has ever been in any discussion with the commissioner on any investigation or been involved in any plot to plant drugs on anyone.

The PNCR however refused to say whether there was any investigation in the party about the loss of money saying that was a matter for the party members.

The last conversation on the tape appeared to be between the commissioner and the head of the GDF, Chief of Staff Edward Collins, as it commenced with a female stating that the commissioner was calling for the Chief of Staff, and they were discussing a planned briefing at 3 pm the said afternoon to discuss the flood situation with government officials.

"Which is behind time because this thing going on a long time since before I lef heh," the voice sounding like the commissioner said while describing the brief.

"That's right, deh late," said the voice sounding like the chief of staff.

"We coulda tek a grip of this thing very early if we know what government is doing, but deh running all over the place, minister going deh, minister going heh, dem ent telling we nothing. Now when dah thing boiling up over dem (Gail) Teixeira (Home Affairs Minister) calling me just now to tell me that the president (Bharrat Jagdeo) in a temper," said the voice sounding like the commissioner.

"Wah he upset about?" asked the one sounding like the chief of staff.

"I wan know, because we ent cause dat… we gat it under control. Suh I waiting for he call me in a temper because I in a temper to," the first voice said.

"Alright you tek it easy, don't get hot around the collar, it is going to blow off just now," cautioned the second voice.

The first voice then said he had some other things to discuss and the second voice suggested that they meet in his office at 2:30 pm before the 3 pm meeting.

Since the first tape was released on March 20, the Commissioner has avoided the heat by denying his is the voice on the tape and challenging the authenticity of the recordings. However, several persons familiar with Felix's voice say the voice on the tape is most likely his and moreover, matters that fit his movements and events that have recently occurred were discussed.

In the first tape, 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 appeared to indicate that the police force deliberately placed blame for the Agricola killings on another person whereas it should have been the Buxton gunmen.

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.

The conversation opened with a discussion of the settlement of a libel matter and referred to a meeting to be held with someone described as No.1.

Security breach

Still unaddressed is the burning issue of who made the tapes and how. Government and other officials have commented on how serious a security breach this would be but thus far no concrete action has been taken by the government. The US FBI had analysed the first tape several weeks ago to determine how it was made and to authenticate the voices but so far no information has been released on this.

In 2002, Khan and several other persons were detained near to a large cache of arms and with sophisticated equipment that could be used to intercept and trace calls. Khan was later taken to court but acquitted. What became of the sophisticated equipment is unknown but there is a belief that it is still in circulation and could have been employed for the purposes of taping conversations.

Khan has also been making various public statements in an apparent drive to whip up public support and avoid being handed over to US authorities. Through various contacts he has said that he helped the police to fight crime and hired ex-convicts and policemen to carry out various operations. The government has since denied that Khan had been engaged by the security services in the crime fight.

Stabroek News
Link