By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former murder accused Robert Gates, previously known at Clive Gibbs, who is currently serving a 48 month sentence at the Georgetown Prison for false pretense yesterday (Friday, June 6) walked out of the ongoing Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (COI) unshackled and unguarded.
His demeanor raised questions from several onlookers, who queried why he was not bound or being guarded by a Prison Officer and what special consideration may have been given to the convict to offer testimonies before the Commission.
When asked, Commission’s Counsel claimed that there was a Prison Officer present who was guarding Gates, but thorough investigation by iNews revealed that Gates was only present at the COI with a female companion.
After the hearing was adjourned, he [Gates] left the Court along with his female companion [unguarded].
When contacted by iNews, Director of Prisons Welton Trotz clarified that Gates should have been under guard at all times. He subsequently contacted his junior Officers who claimed that was the case and Gates was still at the Commission hours after it had adjourned.
Trotz has undertaken to look into the matter.
iNews later learnt that not only should Gates have been guarded at all times but according to procedure, he should have been lodged first at the Court lockups, which wasn’t done.
The Officer at the lock ups claimed that she had no such name on her list when asked on Friday.
The question now is: what special consideration then would have been afforded to the convict who had claimed at the beginning of his testimonies that he believed he was convicted to be prevented from testifying at the COI?
The former Police Sergeant was well attired, wearing even a watch and was seen sitting at the hearings days leading up to his testimony.
Commission’s Counsel had claimed that it was necessary in the instance that a witness did not turn up, they would need him.
Gates gave testimony claiming that the Guyana Police Force during the period leading up to Dr. Walter Rodney’s 1980 death had collected intelligence on opposition elements, including Rodney which was forwarded to the then People’s National Congress government.
He also testified that former Guyana Defence Force member William Gregory Smith was offered $1M and a safe trip out of Guyana to kill Dr. Rodney.
Gates testimony did not stop there, he also told the Commission that he was an undercover cop working for Rupert Roopnarine and had planted two listening devices, on his vehicle and another at the WPA office, which he claimed provided valuable information to the police.