By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney – at – Law Basil Williams, representing the interest of the People’s National Congress (PNC), at the ongoing Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (COI), believes the Commission is wasting too much time.
He said there is the need to bring relevant witnesses instead of persons who continue to prove to be unhelpful in satisfying the four terms of reference of the Commission among which is to inquiry into who or what was responsible for the explosion that led to the death of Guyanese Historian and Politician Dr Walter Rodney on June 13, 1980; whether it was an accident or an act of terrorism and the role of some persons and agencies, if any, in his death.
Williams believes Rodney’s brother, Donald Rodney should be brought before the Commission forthwith along with other relevant witnesses to bring closure to the issue as the Commission’s September expiration date is fast approaching.
“Donald Rodney is the only witness alive who was present at the death of Dr. Rodney and he is the only one that can give evidence in relation to what happened the night in the car,” Williams told iNews in an invited comment.
Earlier in the day when Williams made the submission in the presence of the Commission’s Chairman, Sir Richard Cheltenham, he was accused of trying to dictate the work of the COI.
Donald Rodney’s Attorney has already indicated that he will be testifying but has given no indication as to when that will happen. Sir Cheltenham reassures Williams that Donald Rodney will appear before the COI at the appropriate time.
Williams, however, maintains that the witnesses so far have been to a large extent unhelpful in providing evidence that will bring closure to the circumstances surrounding Rodney’s death.
“These other people that they calling; some of their evidence cannot help in satisfying the terms of reference. They are wasting time and must bring relevant witnesses,” Williams added.
He said much of the evidence being heard is false and intended to smear the PNC, even as he challenged media reports on the daily hearings.
“All of this is like witch hunting all the time, we don’t have anything, there is nothing,” Williams vented.
Williams and by extension the PNC had called on the government to ensure the Commission honours September deadline; warning that it will not support additional funding should the Commission’s life be prolonged.
The COI was initially scheduled to last four months, following its February commencement date; however, President Donald Ramotar, upon whose instructions the Inquiry was established initially, had extended its life to September 30, 2014.
William believes that notwithstanding the extension, the COI remains “open ended” and is not likely to reveal the truth in relation to the circumstances under which Dr. Rodney died.