Speaker must probe alleged assault in Parliament – DPP

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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Senior Counsel Shalimar Ali-Hack has advised the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to let the Speaker of the National Assembly deal with the alleged assault of A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Member of Parliament, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley.

Last Wednesday, the Opposition parliamentarian alleged that Government MP Kwame McCoy physically assaulted her on the corridors of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), where Parliament sittings are being held owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Public Affairs Minister has vehemently denied the allegation.

Nevertheless, the Police were called in to probe the incident, taking statements from several persons as well as reviewing CCTV footage from the ACCC. The footage only captured the before and after of the confrontation between the two MPs and showed nothing of the alleged assault.

After conducting investigations, the Police submitted the case file to the DPP Chambers for advice on the way forward.

But in her response, the DPP suggested that House Speaker Manzoor Nadir handle the matter since the incident occurred in the precinct of the National Assembly.

“This alleged incident occurred in Parliament and in such circumstances, it is advised that the Speaker of the National Assembly deals with this matter under the Standing Orders of Parliament,” Ali-Hack indicated in a correspondence to the Police.