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“Lock the door and leh deh sk… bun”- prisoner recalls Deputy Prison Director telling wardens

MURDER ACCUSED: Kenneth Griffith- "lock the door and leh deh sk...bun"

MURDER ACCUSED: Kenneth Griffith- “lock the door and leh deh sk…bun”

Another inmate testifying at the Commission of Inquiry into the Camp Street Riot in early March has claimed that Deputy Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels told prison wardens to lock the door to the dormitory and let the prisoners’ burn.

17 inmates that in a fire that ensued after a riot in the prison on March 3, 2015 while several others were injured.

A few  days after the riot, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan announced that Samuels was being sent on leave but it was only a “necessity.”

Samuels who is the Deputy Director of the Guyana Prison Service has been sent on six weeks leave dating back to March 3, 2016 when the inmates met a fiery death at the Georgetown Prison.

When called to the stand on Monday, accused murderer Kenneth Griffith testified that after being informed that the prisoners had lit another fire, Samuels told the wardens to let them burn.

“The officer that went up there, he(Samuels) asked if they (officers) light the fire and he (the warden) said no then he said well wait, lock the door and leh deh sk**t bun,” said Griffith later clarifying “well y’all aint light no fire? Come down and lock the door.”

Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams

Griffith, a resident of the Capital C section, was unable to give an account of how the fire started in the prison on March 3.

With tears in his eyes, the inmate detailed that the officers may have been reluctant to go against the orders of the Deputy Director of Prisons since the officers might have been intimidated by a gun on Samuels’ waist.

The inmate said that he even pleaded with Samuels to do something to save the men, but his cries fell on deaf ears.

“Where Mr Samuels was standing it wasn’t too far from me. I said Mr Samuels regardless of wuh is people like yuhself, open the door and let dem man out,” the man stated.

He said it was only after the Officer in Charge of Camp Street Prison Kevin Pilgrim intervened that the ranks moved into action and mounted efforts to rescue the men that were trapped in the burning dormitory.

“I don’t know what it is that Mr Pilgrim told the officers but they picked up hose and run up the step,” the inmate said.

He said that the inmates are now dead “all because Mr Samuels who tell them people to lock the door.”

Under cross examination by Joint Services Attorney Selwyn Pieters, the inmate stood his ground maintaining Samuels is responsible.

At one point the cross examination escalated into a bitter exchange between the two with Griffith telling Pieters “you are being paid to lie.”

Another prisoner, Trevor Williams testified on Monday and told the Commission of an unpleasant exchange between Pilgrim and Samuels on that day.

“Samuels told Mr Pilgrim to shut up because Samuels was leading this exercise,” the inmate stated.

He also testified that inmates from Capital A had stoned Samuels while he was outside of the dormitory.

(by Jomo Brusheildon Paul)

  • george wiltshire

    It is sad that persons died. Every time this comes up I remember 2002 and how a young man was killed. Self preservation is natures first law.
    Many of the young men who end up in prison have determined to die. Many say they do not care about life. They go around and ended the life of so e citizen who has made a contribution of worth to society.
    So I hear what they are saying the gentleman would have said. From the story I have heard, that would have been the third time they would have attempted to light a fire. Unfortunately it did and now we are going to hurt someone to suffice the conscience of a few.
    In reality at thee last jail break the commission made several recommendations. They did not put it into effectlawlessnessanother day coming. It is now here. They paid tax payers money ey and did nothing. All because they are not going to lose. That is what they think. They a d their children and those who voted and continue to vote for them will face what some call karma. Look and lear n. If Granger does nothing about the scamps around d him he and his will face karma too. Also those who voted for change but see no change and continue to support lawlessness will also see the consequences.
    We will continue to pray for this nation and I know JESUS is moving in our midst. Tube blessings of JESUS on you all.Amen

    • SYL

      I’m tired of this issue. Who lit the fire ? wasn’t it the prisoners for whatever reason,.So if you are so damn stupid to light a fire, don’t you expect that the fire would burn you and those in close proximity? Waste of tax payers money by going through this drama. WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS MOST OF THESE GUYS INFLICTED DAMAGES? Is there any consideration for them? The VICTIMS ARE HURTING AND WOULD BE SO FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES.. Imagine these guys are in prison and behaving in such a manner, it gives proof of their guilt while they were out of prison.The people who talk about human rights,what about the rights of the VICTIMS?

      • Col123

        SYL..The prisoners are ward of the state…the state cannot toss its responsibilities…