By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A SNITCH, that’s what former Priest of the House of Israel Joseph Hamilton may be, according to Lead Counsel for the Peoples’ National Congress (PNC), Basil Williams at the ongoing Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry.
Williams, at the commencement of his cross examination of Hamilton who occupied the witness box for the second consecutive day had asked, “Based on the information that you have provided to the Commission, would you consider yourself to be a snitch?”
This assertion was rejected by Hamilton on the grounds that he did not know what a snitch was. He was then asked if he considered himself to be a whistle-blower, to which he responded “I see it as my moral duty as a citizen… if you consider it to be a snitch or whistle-blower then so be it.”
Williams during his cross examination was adamant that Hamilton who earlier testified at length of a correlation between the PNC and the House of Israel to commit violent and illegal activities was lying because of personal grievances.
“I am putting it to you that you willfully presented false information to the Commission because you felt jilted by the PNC,” Williams said.
Hamilton, who told the Commission yesterday that former Opposition Leader Robert Corbin had supplied the House of Israel with arms and ammunition to terrorize Opposition elements during 1978 continued along those lines.
He recalled today too that he was trained in bomb-making and how to use the illegal firearms they were provided with by a senior Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Officer.
A document [police intelligence file] was presented to Hamilton which showed the so called religious body receiving large amounts of weaponry from the PNC.
Hamilton could not verify this to be true but recalled receiving specifically six 9mm pistols and four .38 revolvers from the leadership of the then ruling PNC to perpetrate violent acts against opposition elements and in turn protect themselves.
He recalled several senior members of the discipline forces, lawyers, magistrates, businessmen and ministers of the government visiting the House of Israel headquarters in Georgetown where favors and intervention were sought, monies exchanged and other activities, some of them being members themselves.
Williams nonetheless sought to insinuate that Hamilton was only testifying in this vein because of his affiliations with the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic, having formerly held MP status in the PNC government.
However, Hamilton, now a 60 – year – old grandfather said he regrets his involvement with the House of Israel which commenced when he was only 23 years old.
“I made choices and decisions which caused great harm to people, there are regrets and I have to continue to live with the past.”
He concluded that the House of Israel was a victim of the specific time. “You either had to be with the government or against them… so the body chose to be with them,” he said adding that “it was a period of everything that wasn’t good for a country and development.”