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GDF issued weapons to R.Corbin, now defunct ministry

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has begun disclosing information that several of its weapons had been issued to persons and external organizations.

Testifying before the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry, Head of the GDF’s Intelligence Section Lt.Col. Sydney Charles James said an investigation dating back to August 2008 shows that several weapons were issued to the then Ministry of National Development and an R. Corbin.

James said seven Smith and Wesson weapons were issued on May 18, 1976 to R. Corbin, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, and several others were issued on May 19, 1976 to R. Corbin of the Ministry of National Development.

James said he could not ascertain whether the recipient was Robert Corbin. 

The Head of Intelligence said several other weapons including fifty M-10 pistols and accessories, fifteen M-70 rifles and accessories and light machine guns were issued to “Comrade Skeete” on behalf of the Ministry of National Development.

The serving army officer says records show that three weapons were recovered from three criminals during a shootout in Mahaicony and a number of the other firearms were returned.

Former House of Israel member, Joseph Hamilton has already told the Commission that he was present when a senior official of the then People’s National Congress (PNC)had delivered several handguns to the his religious sect.  Several witnesses and Hamilton have already testified that that organisation had been involved in breaking up opposition political meetings.

The Commission, which is tasked with determining who might have been responsible for the bomb-blast death of Dr. Rodney on June 13, 1980, is also examining the political environment and the role of the security forces at that time.