Bar Association calls on Gov’t to launch inquiry – into death of army intelligence officer, civilians

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The Guyana Bar Association has called on the Government to mount an inquiry into the event or series of events of December 30, 2015 that led to the death of three persons, including army intelligence officer Robert Pyle.

The circumstances surrounding the death of the army officer has been shrouded in controversy and has been one of the hot topics of discussion over the past several days, more specifically as it relates to numerous conflicting reports that have emerged about the covert operation he was involved in at the time of his demise.

During the bungled covert operation that involved a high-speed vehicular chase, the GDF Officer’s vehicle reportedly slammed into a canter truck on Carifesta Avenue resulting in the death of three persons, including his wife Stacy, along with the driver of the canter, Linden Eas

Army intelligence officer Robert Pyle was killed in a crash on the night of December 30, 2015
Army intelligence officer Robert Pyle was killed in a crash on the night of December 30, 2015

tman.

 

Following is the full text of the statement issued by the Guyana Bar Association:

The death of three persons, a serving member of the Guyana Defence Force and two private citizens, has brought into sharp focus Operation Dragnet announced by Minister of State Joseph Harmon last month. At a post-Cabinet press briefing on December 2, 2015, Mr. Harmon announced that the Operation, a Joint Services effort, will last from December 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016.

The deaths and their surrounding circumstances are cause for the gravest concern among

citizens. It has now been confirmed that at the time of the officer’s death he was engaged in a surveillance operation which it is now known was directed at a public servant who is on leave. The Bar Association believes that an explanation is required for the use of GDF

officers to engage in such activities and the legality thereof.

Operational control of the Defence Force vests solely in the Chief of Staff, but subject to the general or specific directions of the President. The Defence Force is charged with the

defence of and maintenance of order in Guyana and with such other duties defined by the

Defence Board. The President is the Commander-in-Chief and Chairman of the Defence

Board which includes the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs, now Public

Security.

In announcing the Operation, Mr. Harmon disclosed that it involved the Guyana Defence

Force, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Prison Service and the Guyana Fire Service, all of which operate under separate Acts of Parliament and exercise different functions. The Guyana Bar Association believes that the State has a duty to explain and justify the role of the Guyana Prison Service and the Guyana Fire Service in the Operation.

So far as the use of the Guyana Defence Force in civilian activities is concerned, where there is a situation involving violent crime beyond the capacity of the Police, the Commissioner may request the Commander in Chief to deploy the Military in support for specific missions and within specific Police Divisions. The Chief of Staff, as Chairman of the Joint Services Coordinating Committee, makes his own assessment known to the Commander in Chief in order to justify the deployment of specific elements of the GDF.

It is against this background that the Guyana Bar Association considers it necessary to call upon the Government to mount an inquiry into the event or series of events of December 30,

2015 that led to the death of three persons. Those raise serious questions that go to the

foundational principle of the rule of law including:

  1. The level of sanctity of human life;
  2. The extent of the right to secure protection of the law including the holding of

independent inquiries into the loss of human life;

  1. The importance of citizens being able to go about their lives and business peaceably;
  2. The recognition and regard for the privacy and private life of an individual;
  3. The duty of the State to act in conformity with the law and to protect its citizens;
  4. The role and function of the Guyana Defence Force, a body established under the

Defence Act to carry out its responsibilities set out in the Constitution;

  1. The role, duties and functions of the Guyana Police Force and the Commissioner of

Police in these circumstances;

  1. The establishment and operation of SOCU, its legal underpinning, staffing and

reporting lines;

  1. Wrongful death, criminal liability, civil Liability, immunity and appropriate redress;
  2. The scope, operational procedures, reporting lines and accountability of Operation

Dragnet which was announced not by the Commissioner of Police but following a

meeting of the Cabinet.

The Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force has announced that the events of December 30, 2015 were part of a legitimate operation. By contrast, the nation waits to hear from the Commissioner of Police who is the statutory authority to initiate the call for assistance from the Defence Force. Similarly, since Operation Dragnet was described as a response to concerns about public security, the Bar Association considers it incumbent for the Minister of Public Security to address the nation on the matter.

President Granger has announced that he does not consider that a full probe is necessary

because a member of the Guyana Defence Force was on an “official mission”. With due

respect to the President, the Bar Association fundamentally disagrees with such a position.

At the very least, the law requires a Coroner’s Inquest into the death of the three citizens

while the ten issues identified above are so serious and fundamental to the normal

functioning of a democratic state that they require a proper, independent Commission of

Inquiry.

The President is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and Chairman of the Defence

Board. He would wish to avoid any perception of any conflict of interest, undue influence or political interference in the operations of the Disciplined Services, or of an operation that went horribly wrong.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Its your education that have you and many like you suffering everyday, the COP Seelall was chosen not by the PNC, he has the responsibility for crime,if you were not so bright you would be hiding behind your mouse like you did for the last 23 years ,all because the government is not complete curry mouths all you cockroach crawl out and suddenly blogging,be silent for the next 23 yrs, Plenty plenty plenty/ curry will never see government again,,,wake up ,,

  2. It’s really nice to know that there is a PNC out there who has answers to our thousands of questions. Please madmax also tell us How many guards Nagamoottoo has? and tell us if it’s true that that tax payers are paying $5,200,000.00 (five milliom two thousand dollars per month for all those guards, gardener, house keeper, driver, gasoline, internet service, electricity, phone, free food, duty free concessions, travel allowances, and a “HUGE” tax free SALARY? I think it’s over $7,000,000.00 per month. Also please don’t forget that when any of your PNCites go out of Guyana they can spend US1,000,000.00 or a billion dollars without giving account to it.
    SHAME on you PNC and the PNC PHANTOMS who are spying on us!

  3. MADMAXX how one time the police doing the job and now the can’t be trusted according to you. I’m shocked you really are uneducated fool.

  4. Direct these same question to your lord and savior BARRAT,,what does any of these questions have to do with the investigation on hand,how about asking why the army has to do the job instead of the police,,I can answer you,,,the police cant be trusted,,,too much corruption,,,,,23 yrs of lawlessness will not go away easy,,,

  5. Bora looking for his caste and cant find any to fit into. Samjhe? The man has a serious inferiority complex. Like Freddie Kissoon.

  6. As Guyanese we need to know who is the owner of the car that was driven and crashed by Robert Pyle? How many other vehicles were owned by Pyle and how much money does he have in the bank (banks)? We need an inquiry!

  7. Maharanee…I just kidding about the Haiti stuff…I have a terrible sense of humor…but I value the surge in my serotonin uptake from blogging…

  8. While I am not so educated and a great orator as the author of this article, I must say that I do agree that the citizens deserve an explanation. We have to be mature enough to put aside political parties and deal with the real issues. People’s lives were lost, citizens were chased, we need to know why the officer was sent, what does that particular family have to do with crime that the aid of the Army was needed on that faithful day? I hope that the President responds. I belong to no political party, so this is not about taking sides, this is about knowing what is happening in the country and having trust in the protective services in Guyana.

  9. Maharanee..Why should President Granger resign?….He has big plans for Guyana. He and Mr Nagamootoo will get $50K a bag for paddy…crime is down according to our Guyanese math…the COP said so…we need to give the Gov’t a chance to develop our country…so far they are using the corrupt PPP plans to develop our country…ie…the tourism hospital will be built…every body is happy…the rich folks and elite caste (according to Bora…he does not know the origin of the word) get special recon from the GDF and GPF…the bandits are watching the poor hard working folks…what else do you want?….go to Haiti if you can’t deal with progress…

  10. I think the President has chosen the wrong portfolio. He seems to be a great Mayor of GT -it is as clean as it can be but the country is in a mess and all u see every day is more nonsense and made up stories such as the high profile case with the GDF officer and his wife…what is the meaning of high profile Mr President. I think u need a little cleaning up on your commanding skills, just saying.

  11. Bar Association calls on Gov’t to launch inquiry – into death of army intelligence officer, civilians
    This is nothing absolutely nothing a nothing call by the GBA
    Check the GBA very carefully and you will conclude GBA is stack and loaded with PNCites –or —Opposition to PPP. based on past statements by GBA on certain issues–the silence of GBA on certain issues–you can only conclude this is nothing more that a GBA PR stunt..

  12. Millions are being spent into the so called forensic audit and the PNC is reluctant to launched an inquiry because the majority of crimes that are committed are committed by (members of the armed forces) just like in the first PNC rule. I believe the PNC is operating a PHANTOM squad secretly. Robert Pyle death confirms it. Shame on the PNC and all who support the PNC! Granger and Harmon need to resign now!

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