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Rodney inquiry to receive secret police files; info about infiltration of WPA

Attorney-at-Law, Glenn Hanoman

Secret files about police surveillance of the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) and the infiltration of that party to assassinate persons will be among testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into the death of political activist, Dr. Walter Rodney more than 33 years ago.

Lawyer for the Commission, Glenn Hanoman said original files from the Guyana Police Force Special Branch would be tendered by Senior Superintendent, Leslie James. Now Chief of Criminal Investigations, James was up to quite recently Head of Special Branch.

Hanoman said contrary to previous belief, the Special Branch has in its possession “original files” with detailed accounts of surveillance activities. Rodney was killed in an explosion on June 13,1980 while he and his brother  had been seated in the latter’s car on John Street near the Georgetown Prison.

The Attorney said an unnamed member of the then Special Squad of the police force is also expected to testify about surveillance activities of WPA meetings at the time and his involvement in activities. That ex-policeman is expected to speak about his personal involvement to engage in assassination. “He will speak of his personal assignment to infiltrate the WPA and to carry out acts of subterfuge and assassination,” he said.

Hanoman added that the policeman is expected to speak about his arrest and detention at Special Branch headquarters and subsequent alleged interventions by Mr. Hamilton Green. The witness plans to tell about having to report directly then to senior security/police officers including Laurie Lewis, then Crime Chief Cecil ‘Skip’ Roberts and Norman Mc Lean and taking “directions from them as the intellectual orders.” The former cop, according to Hanoman, will reveal his connections with Rodney, Gregory Smith, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and persons only known as Brezhnev and Chico.

Hanoman said an unnamed officer of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is expected to produce available records about the movement of arms and ammunition out of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) as well as the movement of aircraft.

Roman Catholic priest Malcolm Rodrigues, Reverend Kwame Gilbert and former WPA activist, Karen De Souza are also expected to be among the nine persons to testify in the coming days. De Souza is expected to tell the probe about what she had observed moments immediately after the incident.

The Commission of Inquiry is expected to peruse reports by the Coroner, Pathologists and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

Chairman of the Commission, Sir Richard Cheltenham appealed to all individuals, including those in the security forces, to testify and help bring closure to the incident.