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
Saturday, June 03, 2006

Felix asked to respond immediately

THE swirling Tapegate controversy took a new turn yesterday with the government asking Police Commissioner Winston Felix to immediately respond to allegations being made against him.

It is the government’s first move against the Top Cop whose reputation first came under question two months ago when a bugged phone conversation believed to be his, surfaced, triggering grave concern from the administration given its national security implications.

The government said then that it had sent the tape to be authenticated by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Mr Felix was due home last night from official business overseas and was to be greeted with a letter from Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, requesting him to explain “certain complaints and/or allegations” against him.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, in a statement said, “In view of certain complaints, accusations and/or allegations being made against the Commissioner of Police, the Prime Minister Samuel Hinds has written to the Commissioner of Police bringing these allegations to his attention and requested him to respond, immediately.”

The government move came as no surprise as Luncheon stated Wednesday that the administration was going to consider other moves than the FBI to authenticate the tapped telephone conversations, since the results on the first tape had not been returned.

When other tapes surfaced last weekend, Luncheon indicated it resulted in further “erosion” in public confidence in the Police Commissioner.

The letter by the Prime Minister to Felix is intended to ensure that due process is followed and the Commissioner of Police has a fair hearing, sources indicated.

According to Article 211 (4) of the Constitution, the prescribed authority (the Prime Minister or the Chairman of the Police Service Commission) would have to advise the President on the question of an investigation into possible misbehaviour, the sources said.

As per procedure, the President shall then act in accordance with the advice of the Judicial Service Commission on appointing a tribunal.

The tribunal shall then enquire into the matter and report its findings to the President.

The President, the sources explained, cannot suspend the Commissioner of Police before the tribunal ends its work, only if the Police Service Commission so advises.

Felix is due to go on pre-retirement leave on August 15, 2006, but can elect to take his leave earlier, the sources indicated.

Luncheon said Wednesday that when the first tape purporting to be that of Felix and opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) executive member, Mr Basil Williams discussing matters of national security was released on March 20, the Home Affairs Ministry sent a copy to the FBI. However, he said there has been no result thus far.

When that tape was released the government said it was “deeply disturbed” and indicated “this development has implications for national security.”

The conversation on the first tape covered the 30 AK-47 rifles stolen from a storage bond in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) headquarters compound in Camp Ayanganna, Georgetown and this evoked laughter between the two men.

That conversation also included a discussion of incidents leading up to the recent Agricola and Eccles, East Bank Demerara massacre of eight persons.

The voice, supposedly that of Felix, posited that the current government wanted an extension of its time in office and a discussion ensued about the power vacuum and other implications were general elections not to be held on time.

The new recordings of several bugged phone conversations, purportedly of Felix at one end, include an inference to him allegedly planning to instruct the Police Narcotics Unit to plant “drugs” on a woman who supposedly stole a large amount of money and was attempting to flee the country.

The tape also suggests the Commissioner used his authority over the Central Immigration and Passport Office to achieve this plan.

In addition, the voice purportedly that of Felix, disagrees with senior government functionaries on the handling of the recent flooding in the country.

Felix had denied the voice on the first tape was his and since he was out of the country, he was unavailable for comment on the surfacing of the new tapes.

President Bharrat Jagdeo had told a Guyanese audience at an overseas meeting that if the voice on the first tape turns out to be that of Felix, it would demonstrate unprofessional conduct on the part of the Police Commissioner.

And while at this year’s annual Police Officers conference he expressed confidence in Felix and the force, he gave a hard knock following the April 22 assassination of Minister Satyadeow Sawh, his siblings Rajpat Rai Sawh and Pulmattie Persaud, and security guard Curtis Robertson.

The President said the government’s huge spending on the security forces demand results in arresting the spiralling crime wave.

Guyana Chronicle