Rodney COI: “Cheltenham has showed his bias” – Harmon says he should go

Sir Richard Cheltenham being sworn in as Chairman of the COI. [iNews' Photo]

Sir Richard Cheltenham being sworn in as Chairman of the COI. [iNews' Photo]
Sir Richard Cheltenham being sworn in as Chairman of the COI. [iNews’ Photo]
By Kurt Campbell

[] – Attorney – at – Law in the ongoing Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (COI) and Opposition Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon says the Commission’s Chairman, Sir Richard Cheltenham has revealed his biased and should do the honorable thing and leave.

Harmon, who represents the interest of Ex – Service men and women, was making reference to Cheltenham’s emotive, aggressive and conclusive questioning of Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Pilot Gerald ‘Gerry’ Gouveia on Thursday, June 26.

Gouveia has admitted to flying an Army plane to Kwakwani on June 14, 1980, the day after Dr. Walter Rodney was killed by a bomb blast.

He said he flew a man, a woman and some children but denied knowing that William Gregory Smith, who is also a Former GDF Member, was onboard.

He admitted that he saw newspapers days later with a picture of a man who looked like the male on his plane.    

To this end Cheltenham sought to inquire from Gouveia why he never brought it to the attention of anyone or did his own investigation to find out if he had transported “a killer.” 

“We are here to determine those things and the fact that he actually said this man has transported a killer brings out his own personal opinions on the matter and brings it to bear on the Commission,” Harmon reasoned.  

Cheltenham opened fired on Gouveia, according to Harmon, for not being bothered enough to have inquired if he indeed transported Gregory Smith.

Captain Gouveia has been accused of flying a military aircraft with Smith to Kwakwani shortly after the Friday, June 13, 1980 death of Dr. Walter Rodney, thereby aiding in his escape.  

Smith is accused of giving Rodney a ‘walkie talkie’ which subsequently exploded, killing him.

APNU Member of Parliament, Joseph Harmon.
APNU Member of Parliament, Joseph Harmon.

“This Commission was established to determine the true circumstances under which Dr Rodney died but this morning the outburst by the Chairman has made us very uncomfortable where he has asked the witness if he was transporting a killer. It appeared to us therefore that the Chairman has already arrived at a conclusion. Under such circumstances I think he should do the honorable thing and excuse himself from the Commission,” Harmon added.

He recalled earlier concerns of similar nature when it was learnt that several weeks after Rodney was killed Cheltenham delivered a glowing tribute to him during a memorial service in Barbados.

Sir Richard has said however that no bias should be drawn from this as the two did not share a close relationship.

Captain Gerald Gouveia
Captain Gerald Gouveia

Meanwhile, Gouveia has said that the Chairman’s questions were in some aspects offensive.

“If you think about him saying that our GDF Officers were transporting killers, our Army is  a place I was very privileged and honored to serve and for people to refer to our military like that, that’s unfortunate… I’m not moved by it though.”

He said he intends to speak the truth and nothing but the truth, observing that it was important for him to do is if the country is to move forward.






  1. Parrot: Had he taken notice in that “context” time line he would be handed a Burnham walkie talkie too.

  2. To this end Cheltenham sought to inquire from Gouveia why he never brought it to the attention of anyone or did his own investigation to find out if he had transported “a killer.”

    Really Mr Harmon, what did Sir Richard said here that is so offensive?
    If I think or have the notion that I indeed aided a thief to evade the law should I not verify my suspicion to remove a guilty concience?

    Dr Rodney importance would have command such a move and concern.

    Sir Richard is there to bring out the truth. If he don’t ask, how will it come out Sir?
    All cannot be assumed to be honky dory if the COI don’t examine critically every ounce of evidence or opinion(s).

    If you mean or if you are trying to obstruct the work of the COI, please go away. The PNC did not promise any evidence and should not be an obstacle to those who want to participate.

  3. PNC want::: PNC want::: PNC want::PNC should be branded a terrorist organisation by the International Community of Peace Loving Nations. PNC is a racist political party. PNC keep demanding more money for public sector employees because most PNC supporters are employed by the ruling PPP Government. PPP did not want the East Indian Guyanese from Trinidad sitting on the Rodney COI. Folks you all better take a serious look at what the PNC have in their organ. Granger-Ballot Box Killings. Greendige-Banned Food Items from Guyanese. Basil Williams and Winston Felix-ON tape recording planning to place drug on a woman when she arrive at the airport. Well Hamilton Green is a complete monster to Guyanese all by himself. Many Guyanese knows his past his history and he is old now so will do anything that threatens his City Hall Rule. They say cow going slaughter house dont care where it splat.


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