Criminal charges, disciplinary action for Timehri ranks accused of raping Colwyn Harding

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By Leroy Smith

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack is not yet in receipt of the file in the Colwyn Harding case where several police officers are being investigated for sexual abuse and assault of the 23 – year – old while he was in their custody at a police station.

iNews was able to confirm that the file is still with the Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority and is likely to be sent to the DPP on Monday, providing the investigating ranks make available some additional information to the Chairman which he requested.

While not getting into much detail with respect to the investigation and the contents of the file, Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority Justice Cecil Kennard told this news agency during a telephone interview that he requested two other statements to facilitate the closing of his part of the investigation.

He told iNews that he had an open mind to the investigation but when those two additional statements are presented to him, he will then be able to determine if criminal or disciplinary charges should be brought against the ranks.

He did however stated that based on the information available to him thus far, it is possible that at least two of the ranks from the Timehri Police Station could face criminal charges of assault while other ranks are likely to be slapped with disciplinary action for breaching the Standard Operating Procedures.

Crime Chief Seelall Persaud did say two weeks ago at a press conference that based on the initial reports, there were a number of procedures which were not followed.

If criminal charges are made out, then that advice will be sent to the DPP while disciplinary action advice will be sent to the Commissioner of Police. In this case both the DPP and the Top Cop are likely to receive reports and advice to execute action under their purview.

Last year, the 23 – year – old was abused while in police custody and the matter came to light in Early January 2014, sparking much outrage.

The incident and the many media reports on the issue has even force the Ministry of Home Affairs to caution ranks against some of their behaviors which the ministry stated makes a mockery of the ongoing Police Reform Process.

A very critical part of the reform process is the regaining of public confidence in the Guyana Police Force, something that has been an uphill task for the force which continues to be plagued with one embarrassment to the next, all brought upon by its own ranks.

The Colwyn Harding case also brought out the Commissioner of Police and part of his top brass who held a press conference and made it clear that the matter was being investigated and those guilty of any wrong doing will face the full brunt of the law.

He has also transferred all the ranks from the police station in question that were fingered in the allegation while one remains under close arrest.

The Guyana Police Force was once again forced to place three of its ranks on close arrest after a 16 – year – old claimed that he was buggered by the ranks while in their custody at the Police Outpost at the Stabroek Market Place in Georgetown.

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