Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall’s voice has surfaced, heard purportedly saying that he is aware of a plot by an armed person to invade the newspaper’s offices in retaliation to a number of articles that are being published against certain persons.
The Guyana Government late Monday night, nevertheless, stood by the Attorney General in the face of the glaring accusation. “We stand by the Attorney General, as the Government of Guyana goes out of its way to foster peace and goodwill. We believe in the integrity and professionalism of the Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Anil Nandlall, and stand by him,” says the administration.
The Attorney General briefly told Caribbean News Desk that the audio recording of a conversation with himself and Kaieteur News reporter, Leonard Gildharie was edited to make it sound as though he had said things that he had not.
That was not dissimilar from the government statement in which it admits that it us the Attorney General’s voice but accuses Kaieteur News of manipulating the recording. “The Government of Guyana condemns in the strongest possible language the despicable act of a national newspaper to distort and manipulate a private conversation of a Government Minister, whose conversation was illegally recorded, and distorted, and broadcast.”
Shortly after Kaieteur News Publisher, Glen Lall and his lawyer, Khemraj Ramjattan lodged a complaint with two high ranking police officers at Police Headquarters; the Guyana Press Association (GPA) swiftly issued a statement expressing alarm at Nandlall’s purported utterances.
The purported voice of the Attorney General is heard repeatedly urging Gildharie to leave Kaieteur News and even submit a proposal to work with an “elite” media team that President Donald Ramotar was putting together. “My first advice to you is to move out of there. It is a dangerous f……g place to work. It is a dangerous place. I am telling you. Read between the lines. This thing not go on for long. People ain’t go tek this ting so.”
“When you continue attacking people like that and they have no way of responding, dem ah guh jus walk with a weapon into that same f…..g Saffon Street office and wah come suh duh and innocent Peter will have to pay for f….g Paul in deh one day. Me ah tell you honestly- man-to-man- that will happen soon so the quicker you get out ah deh, de better.”
You can listen to the recording by clicking here https://www.dropbox.com/s/q185btne7y63xn2/anil_kaieteur.MP3?dl=0 and downloading it first.
The person, believed to be the Attorney General, also expressed concern that the Kaieteur News Publisher was above the law and was retaliating because he was charged with allegedly evading customs duties on two Lexus vehicles that were imported by a re-migrant couple under the Duty Free Concession Scheme. “I tell Glen already. He knows my capacity and I know his. Me nah got to go ah court everyday and issue press statement. I don’t have to resort to those methods. There are far more effective methods to which I can resort,” the person says.
The recording, released today (October 27, 2014) suggests that the Attorney General is aware of a sinister plot against Kaieteur News publisher Glenn Lall, and advised a senior reporter to leave the organization as soon as possible, because it would be sooner rather than later that men with “weapons” would walk into the newspaper’s offices, which also houses its press.
The GPA says in the recording, the Attorney General allegedly and purportedly suggests that because of the newspaper’s reporting on members of his family, he will “war” against Kaieteur News, because he is of the ancient Indian “Chatree” class.
The GPA deemed the purported utterances as as “reckless, irresponsible and outrageous” and called on him to withdraw them in light of those revelations.
The GPA further urged the Guyana Police Force to thoroughly investigate the complaints made by the Kaieteur News publisher regarding threats to his life, his family and the staff of the Kaieteur News.
The Guyana Press Association also says it is in solidarity with Kaieteur News and all media workers and urges them to remain vigilant.
“Journalists in Guyana should be free to practice their profession in an environment free of fear, intimidation and threats. To paraphrase Martin Carter, ‘they cannot kill our thoughts nor murder what we write’..” says the GPA.
In its statement, the Guyana Government observed that Kaieteur News has sustained an intensive, vicious attack on members of the Donald Ramotar administration by using its media power to distort even private conversations that it illegally records. “Today, to our utter consternation, the public listened to a voice recording and was shocked at what the nation heard. Broadcast on social media, the recording contains a distorted, manipulated conversation between a Minister and Leonard Gildarie, a reporter from the Kaieteur News.
It is abhorrent that someone would be so indecent and immoral to manipulate a loose private conversation, in such a dastardly way to manipulate public opinion.
Kaieteur News has published a number of articles, criticising the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Kurshid Sattaur and an uncle of the Attorney General.