Action yet to be taken on COI report into alleged assassination plot – Harmon

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Almost two months after it was revealed that the recommendations made by the Paul Slowe chaired Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the alleged plot to assassinate the President, David Granger, included having several members of the Guyana Police Force disciplined, State Minister, Joseph Harmon on Friday said that action is yet to be taken.

President David Granger receiving the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report into the alleged Assassination Plot of the Head of State from Head of the Commission, Paul Slowe

“The recommendations have not been, the actions on the recommendations, as such, have not been made public as yet. It’s in the contemplation stage with your Excellency but I could say to you that we have taken those recommendations very seriously and actions will be taken on them,” he told media operatives in a post Cabinet presser on Thursday.

When media operatives probed what action/s will be taken against Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud since the CoI report recommends that he “be made to resign [from] his position as Commissioner of Police for the Guyana Police Force”, Harmon asserted that “actions that will be taken will be based on the recommendations of the COI and the determinations of the Security Sector Reform.”

“So you have the recommendations of the COI and then you have other recommendations which have been made by the person who is looking at the Security sector reform program so we fit all of these things into place and the recommendations will fit in,” he said.

Harmon further posited that the recommendations made by the COI have to be scrutinised before being acted upon since the entire Guyana Police Force will be affected.

“The COI points to very serious challenges in so far as the way in which the Police Force is organised and the fact that we would need to do some adjustments and some serious look at the way in which the force is being run and managed” he said.

The COI was ordered earlier this year by President Granger after an East Bank Demerara man, Andriff Gillard reported to the Police that his friend and neighbour, Nizam Khan offered him $7M to assassinate the President.

The state newspaper, under the direct responsibility of Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, had reported that the COI report recommends that substantive Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud, should be forced to resign or be removed if he refused.

According to the excerpts of the report, which were purportedly leaked to the state media, the Commission also found that Commissioner Persaud acted improperly when he instructed Inspector Prem Narine to send Nizam Khan on bail on the night of March 29.

It was also recommended that Persaud be investigated for perjury in relation to his statement where he said that he was not aware of the allegations until after 16:00hrs on March 29. Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken told the COI that he reported the incident to Persaud at around 10:00hrs on same day.

Assistant Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, currently acting as Police Commissioner, told the CoI that he felt a proper investigation was not conducted.

The report has since recommended that sanctions be imposed against him for his failure to ensure that a proper investigation was conducted.

In relation to Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum, Slowe reportedly recommended that he be replaced. “… Blanhum should be replaced as Crime Chief and reassigned in order to gain command experience,” the report reportedly instructed.

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