– Requests that he be recalled to stands to “address” issue
Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum has refuted claims uttered by Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged plot to assassinate the President, indicating that he [Blanhum] had ordered that accused, Nizam Khan be granted bail on the morning of March 30, 2017.
This is according to a letter by Blanhum dated August 16, 2017 [today’s date], requesting that he be recalled to testify at the CoI to “address this issue.”
In the letter, seen by Inews, the Crime Chief has described Ramnarine’s recount of the incident as a “deliberate falsehood.”
On July 28, 2017, Ramnarine, under sworn testimony, had opined that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) did not properly investigate Andriff Gillard’s allegations that businessman Nizam Khan had offered him $7M to kill President David Granger.
He told the CoI that after the investigation into the assassination plot began on March 29 2017, he was subsequently informed that Nizam Khan- the accused- was in police custody.
However, he said that at around 05:30hrs on March 30, 2017, while receiving the daily crime briefing from Crime Chief Blanhum, it was indicated to him that Blanhum had ordered the release of Nizam Khan.
Ramnarine said that when he enquired as to why Khan was released, he was told that the accused had promised to return the following day to assist with investigations.
He had told the CoI that he had not been consulted on the issue of bail, and if it were up to him, he would surely not have granted Nizam Khan bail.
“We have held people for 72 hours for far less serious offences,” he said.
Ramnarine said he felt the investigation was not properly conducted because several senior officers had become involved therein.
“I have now come to learn that he (Blanum) may have been influenced on the very afternoon of the 29th (of March), and that is to say specifically by the Commissioner (Seelall Persaud), who was on leave…because of the association of the Commissioner of Police and Imran Khan and Nizam Khan fundamentally. So, taking into account all the circumstances surrounding the conduct of this investigation, my sincere answer would be, ‘No, it was not properly investigated’,” Ramnarine had revealed to Commission Chair Paul Slowe.
However, Blanhum in his letter stated “I never gave instructions to grant station bail to Nizam Khan, Imran Khan [accused’s brother] or Andriff Gillard [accuser]. Further, at no time did I brief Assistant Commissioner, David Ramnarine on the status of this investigation at 05:30 hours on the 30th March, 2017 and I never told him that I granted bail to Nizam Khan because at 05:30 hours on the said date , I had no knowledge that Nizam Khan was placed on station bail.”
“I find Mr. Ramnarine’s statement to be very appalling in light of the testimony of Inspector Narine, ASP Caesar and Commissioner Seelall Persaud” said Blanhum.
Opposition Leader Dr Bharat Jagdeo had long critised the CoI into an alleged assassination plot against the President, as among other things, a charade to sully the reputations of members of the Guyana Police Force.
Jagdeo had denigrated what he described as an approach to demoralise the ranks of the Police Force at a time when the country faces its biggest security threat.