Findings of Rodney’s CoI to be handed over today

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Seven months after the investigation abruptly ended, Commissioners who were probing the circumstances surrounding the death of Working People’s Alliance (WPA) leader Dr Walter Rodney are slated to present their findings to President David Granger, today.

Dr Walter Rodney
Dr Walter Rodney

The report will be handed over to the Head of State following several delays. The report was initially expected to be handed over since November 2015; however, several hiccups had caused some postponements.

The three-member team comprising its Chairman Barbadian Queen’s Counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham, Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad-based Guyanese Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam returned to Guyana last Monday to put the finishing touches on the report. They had met with Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams.

Following that meeting, Cheltenham had expressed concerns about the impact the premature ending of the hearing would have on the final report. The new Administration upon its ascension to office, made a decision to discontinue the hearing, which was close to the end but which still had some pertinent witnesses to give evidence.

“The premature termination…will mean, as I said earlier, the report will not be as thorough and it means, too, that insofar as there were some individuals who were critically commented on in the course of the evidence who did not get a chance to answer, we will be very disinclined to make critical findings of fact in relation to those who were criticised but who did not get the opportunity to answer those criticisms.” Cheltenham had lamented.

Such individuals include former Crime Chief Cecil ‘Skip’ Roberts, Working People’s Alliance (WPA) leader Dr Rupert Roopnaraine and former People’s National Congress (PNC) leader Robert Corbin.

The Commissioners of the Rodney COI
The Commissioners of the Rodney COI

The Commission was set up to investigate who or what was responsible for the bomb blast that caused the death of Dr Rodney on June 13, 1980. Since his death 34 years ago, the WPA has always maintained that it was the People’s National Congress (PNC), led then by former Prime Minister Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, that killed the political leader and scholar.

Evidence emanating from the investigation has pointed in the direction of former army sergeant William Gregory Smith, who it was believed was used by the PNC Administration to manipulate a communication device that caused it to explode. Rodney died on the spot. Smith, who immediately fled Guyana to French Guiana, denied the allegations from afar and even co-authored a book with his older sister Ann Wagner to prove this. He died from cancer in French Guiana back in 2003.

While the People’s National Congress, the major partner in the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition, had maintained that the Inquiry was being used as a political stunt to tarnish its reputation, former President Donald Ramotar, under whose tenure as President the Commission was established, said it was done owing to the persistent requests by Rodney’s widow, Patricia, and their three children.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Let us don’t forget that colester, diabetic, high blood pressure will take care of them in parliament for us poor citizen on this guyana. Is only time some of them hearth will give up on them.

  2. Findings of Rodney’s CoI to be handed over today
    To be handed over to Graingeh::::
    Should read to be handed over to PNC Graingeh who knows nothing about GDF killing those that tried to follow their votes and GDF didnt make the device that blew away Rodney..The real racist will be hurt bad by the truth but like everything else they will deny deny deny.

  3. I believe,Alesha,that you are still blinded by ignorance.The Corruption the USA is talking about,is the pathway that the PPP has left still to be cleaned up.You see.the trail was such a long one,that it has not been fully cleaned up as yet,but the Coalition is getting there.There will be the gnashing of teeth or gumbs,trust me.I hope you`re not in the mix.

  4. After over thirty years of Rodney`s death,I am somewhat surprised,that Ramotar suddenly decided to have an enquiry,to try to involve the PNC party in the death of a man who himself it is alleged had this device in question,on his person.This alleged device,I am told was prohibited from being used by any civilian,but by Military Personnel for communication purposes.If this is so,Rodney had commited a crime,and that did cause his demise.Ramotar tried to gain political points,by unearthing this suicidal act,to place blame on the party mentioned above,but has been unsuccessful so far using his COI.(Commission of Inquiry),that had wasted over $3M tax-payers cash in the process.Rodney`s brother was with him on whatever mission they were on,but was never asked where the device came from.

  5. This 9 months baby is very bright and at this tender age knows so much about politics WOW, I wonder if this just born could take us back in time,,could she tell us how many were killed under 3Ps….

  6. Why would Granger and Harmon want the PNC exposed of assassinating Walter Roodney? Its a shame that the coc-eye Ramjattan and RoopertNarine sell out the founder of the WPA for financial greed! Hope these crooks get haunted for life! During election campaign there were false promises to make Guyana better…Last week USA release a stat that shows it is still the #1 most corrupted country in the world! So what progress has been made from the PPP-NONE! In fact, stats shows it is worst….so they need to stop duping the public with lies

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