By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Police files dating back to 1980 has confirmed that there were extensive surveillance of the then political opposition, which included the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), by the Special Branch of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
The files which were specific to WPA activities, show more surveillance of the WPA when compared to the PPP.
The nature of these investigations were also examined and showed that several WPA members were stalked and meetings staked out by members of the GPF. It is believed that this information was then fed back to the then People’s National Congress Government.
Crime Chief Leslie James appeared before the Commission set up to investigate the 1980 death of Dr. Walter Rodney and went through several documents with the Commissioners.
Some seven files in relation to WPA activities remain missing. The Commission also unearthed in one of the documents presented that reference was made to a personal file for Rodney.
However, James could not say what happened to Rodney’s personal files. He claimed that persons at Special Branch could not give any explanation for the missing file.
James, who headed the Special Branch before being appointed Crime Chief said it was certainly out of the ordinary for files to be missing without explanation even as he gave an overview of inquires made into missing files.
He said no investigation was or is being conducted into how the files disappeared but instructions were given for further searches to be carried out.
The Commission came across a document which showed then PPP Leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan had called for the two parties (PPP, WPA) to unite against the killing of Dr. Walter Rodney.
There are reports of plans between the WPA and PPP to topple the PNC government. These plans reportedly never materialized because of differences the two sides had in relation to the formulation of a new constitution.
There was also a report which pointed to meetings between Rodney and Gregory Smith – the man accused of giving him the explosive that killed him.
Smith was reportedly contracted to set up a communication system for the WPA. There is speculation that he was building an explosive which Rodney had intended to use to blow up the Camp Street jail.
The police files show that he [Smith] attended several meetings along with Rodney where the acquisition or arms and ammunition were discussed.
James is expected to appear before the COI tomorrow where he will continue to give evidence in chief.