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GDF has no record of flight linked to moving Walter Rodney’s suspected murderer

Col. Cardill Kyte

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF)  Air Corps on Wednesday said it has no records of flights from June 13 to June 17, 1980- around the same time that a soldier fingered in the bomb-blast death of Guyanese politician and historian, Dr. Walter Rodney was flown to Kwakwani.

Head of the Air Corps until 2012, Colonel Cardill Kyte said no documents containing procedures for the use of aircraft from 1978-1980 and flights from June 13 to 18, 1980. He said searches were conducted at the Air Corps but none was found.

Kyte said none of the persons who were in the GDF Air Corps at that time were currently in the military. He told the three-member Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry that he did not seek to have such information outside the GDF.

Former GDF pilot, Gerry Gouveia has already told the Commission that he had flown a man probably fitting the description of then GDF Sergeant 4141 Gregory Sergeant, a woman and several children from Ogle Airport to Kwakwani shortly after Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980.  Gouveia said he had flown the persons aboard GDF aircraft, 8R-GER. Smith provided the walkie-talkie that killed Rodney a short distance away from the Georgetown Prison at a time when Rodney’s Working People’s Alliance (WPA) was advocating a civil rebellion against the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led Forbes Burnham dictatorship. 

Kyte said that aircraft was bartered in 1991 to the privately-owned company, Air Services Limited (ASL). A company representative is expected to testify before the Commission. The 1961 Colonial Air Navigation Order mandates aircraft owners to keep and transfer log books and other records to the new owners.

Kyte said he could not find any record stating who had headed the Air Corps around the period in question.

The GDF’s failure to provide information about the movement of the aircraft came one day after the army said it could not find Smith’s personnel file.

The Guyana Police Force has also said that it could not find several Special Branch (Intelligence Unit) files on the surveillance of the political opposition in the 1970s.