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Govt orders probe into police killing of three suspected bandits; DPP to pronounce on blame- President Granger

President David Granger

President David Granger on Wednesday said the National Security Committee has instructed that an investigation be conducted into the killing of three suspected bandits at the Georgetown Seawall Road and he also expects an inquest into the incident.

“We have ordered an investigation into the circumstances under which the men came to be killed and I believe some action will be taken to have the file sent to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) to determine whether there is any blameworthiness in the death of the persons,” he told reporters shortly after receiving Letters of Credence from  Russia’s new Ambassador to Guyana.

The President said a report on the incident is with the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan but it has not reached his desk as yet.

Autopsies show that the men were shot multiple times. One 9 MM pistol, police said, was recovered from the scene, leaving questions about whether all of the men had posed a threat to police that resulted in the shooting deaths.

The President, who is a former member of the Disciplined Forces Commission of Inquiry, reiterated that whenever someone is killed unnaturally especially by the police or defence force, that incident should be investigated.

Since the killing of the men by police on March 15, 2018, government has not said anything until Wednesday when questions were posed by the media, but the President rejected suggestions that his administration has been silent.
“We are not silent. The response that we have made is decisive and effective. The Commissioner of Police has received clear instructions about the investigation. Even if such instructions were not necessary, he should be proceeding with those…,” he said.

A Partnership for National Unity, including the People’s National Congress Reform and the Working People’s Alliance, and the Alliance For Change had stridently criticised the then People’s Progressive Party Civic-led administration about extrajudicial killings by police and alleged state-sponsored death squads.

In keeping with Guyana’s laws, Granger expects that a Coroner’s Inquest would be held. “I don’t have to order an inquest…I expect an inquest. It’s under the law. The law is there so as far I am concerned there should be no controversy. The death of any citizen in abnormal or irregular circumstances should be investigated,” he said.

Those shot dead by police are 46-year old Dextroy “Dutty” Cordis  of Grove, East Bank Demerara and Kwame Assanah, age unknown, of Buxton, East Coast Demerara and 57-year old Errol “Dynamite” Adams of Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast and Buxton, East Coast Demerara.

Police said they came under fire and returned fire, after trailing the men in a car who were following a man who had earlier exited Scotia Bank on Robb Street.