By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Government is taking steps towards the establishment of a Witness Program in Guyana, which will see collaboration with other Caribbean countries.
This was revealed by Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman at a post cabinet press briefing on Thursday, November 05, 2015 where he noted that one of the major steps is laying the Witness Protection Bill in Parliament.
Trotman told reporters that the Bill is currently before a cabinet sub-committee and is expected to be laid in the National Assembly soon.
“The Witness Protection Bill will establish a program for the protection of witnesses who give evidence in the courts of Guyana. The legislation will establish a program for the protection of witnesses and their families -against intimidation and or physical harm – during and after their involvement in court proceedings,” said Trotman.
Trotman also revealed several of the measures that will be incorporated into the program, inclusive of the provision of new identities and new housing arrangements.
“This is really more of a CARICOM crime and security initiative. Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados have already started working with each other where they move witnesses…before during and after trials within each other’s countries and I have no doubt that Guyana will avail itself to the opportunity to do so,” he stated.
With respect to support from international counties, Trotman revealed that the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative will play an important role. Also, the United Kingdom which recently announced millions of dollars in grant funding will play a role as these funds are expected to be tapped into.