“Bring Donald Rodney now!” – Williams tells Rodney COI

From L - R: Attorneys - at - Law, Brian Clarke, Selwyn Peters, Basil Williams, James Bond and Keith Scotland is standing. [iNews' Photo]


By Kurt Campbell

From L - R: Attorneys - at - Law, Brian Clarke, Selwyn Peters, Basil Williams, James Bond and Keith Scotland is standing. [iNews' Photo]
From L – R: Attorneys – at – Law, Brian Clarke, Selwyn Peters, Basil Williams, James Bond and Keith Scotland is standing. [iNews’ Photo]
[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.

The Commissioners of the Rodney COI. [iNews' Photo]
The Commissioners of the Rodney COI. [iNews’ Photo]
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.



  1. I agree, close the work of the Commission because we heard enough. Many Guyanese have already determined how the distinguished scholar met his untimely death. Burnham used his Red Special Force to kill Rodney. The key players involved in the plot were all “red” men. “Haji” Norman M clean, Desmond “Skip” Roberts, Laurie Lewis, Gregory Smith and others. Those co-opted, or attempted to co-opt, knowingly or unknowingly, were also “red” men, Jerry Goviea and Robert Gates etc. Even though a few may have been involved, Afro-Guyanese army officers, black in complexion, were tactfully kept out of this because Burnham didn’t know who to trust at that time. Rodney was black and he had black supporters everywhere, including in the army.

    When Odeen Ishmael took over the Guyana Embassy in Washington in 1992, he found a garbage bag in the building’s garage with a large set of files that were there to be destroyed and dumped. Two disciples working for Burnham at the Embassy at the time were Lawrence Mann (Ambassador and Burnham’s relative) and a chap name Colin Mapp (First Secretary). Apparently the handyman forgot to complete the job and Mr Ishmael sifted through the materials and found the Rodney files. Among the stuff in that bag were several pieces of PNC propaganda materials, prepared by the then Ministry of Information. Several were on Rodney with one indicating that he (Rodney) “openly declared his belief that as Jamaica was predominantly a black country, all mulatto people and their assets should be destroyed”. Burnham used this statement and other lies to brainwash his red men in a way only Burnham can do.

    The Rodney COI is almost like a truth Commission, information from which Guyanese must know and which the corrupt PNC kept under wraps for decades. The PNC must hear it and Guyanese have a right to know. Once this is behind us we ought to move on.

    Emile Mervin needs a basic lesson in extradition treaties. He may learn something about Gregory Smith and why “the PPP let him die!!”

  2. those relevant witnesses whom Mr. Williams requested to be called now will be used by this commission as a bargaining chip in the latter stages of this hearing to ensure in continuance.
    the non-relevant witnesses are meant to allow the ruling party to milked political capitol for its own gains and seeking to embarrassed the PNC(check nightly airing on NCN ch15, region5&6)

  3. if Donald Rodney were the only person of relevance ,then the coi should not last more than a day. very smart ,mr Williams. I will suggest that the coi check with the airport authorities in suriname and cayenne for any records of Gregory smith alias Cyril Johnson landing there in a gdf plane.this should shed some light on who were smith’s handlers.

  4. Sir Cheltenham is a trained lawyer who is being paid by the hour by taxpayers; the longer this drags out the more money he charges. This case is now a full blown a political and financial fraud.

    I will wager 100 bucks that the COI will not determine who killed Rodney, but will rightly blame the PNC for creating the environment conducive for Rodney’s death and that Rodney merely received weapons from the army because of the oppressive political climate at the time.

    Gregory Smith or Cyril Johnson should have been the state’s chief witness after being indicted for murder by Doodnauth Singh in 1996, but the PPP let him die in 2002 without uttering a word. Donald Rodney, who was with Walter on June 13, 1980, is the second most important witness, and his testimony, though deliberately delayed for some sort of political theatrical effect, may help shed light on who in the army Walter associated with.


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