Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud on Thursday defended the recent promotion of two policemen although they had allegedly torture a teenager during a murder investigation.
Speaking with reporters, Persaud said that Sergeant Narine Lall and Constable Mohanram Dulai were not found guilty during a criminal trial because their accuser, Twyon Thomas, did not turn up in court to testify.
“We have a policy on disciplining of ranks. Ranks, who have been charged and go before the court and if they are convicted, they are dismissed. If they are exonerated, then they become a member of the force,” said the Police Commissioner.
Though Thomas did not lead evidence against the policemen, he had brought a civil action against the Guyana Police Force and the State and he was awarded millions of dollars in damages. On that note, the Police Commissioner argued that was not enough grounds to bar the cops from being promoted. “The ranks did not get the right to be heard. Natural justice did not take place there. Everyone needs the right to be heard,” he said.
Lall was promoted to the rank of Inspector by the Police Service Commission, while it was Persaud who promoted Dolai to the rank of Corporal.
Thomas had alleged that the policemen had wet his genitals with mentholated spirits and set them ablaze in November 2008 during a probe into the murder of former Region Three Chairman, Ramenaught Bisram.
The Police Commissioner further explained that according to the force’s disciplinary process, anyone is eligible for promotion two years after having been disciplined. “We can’t have somebody in the force that is ineligible for consideration for promotion,” he said.
Asked whether consideration was not given to the image of the Police Force as a law enforcement agency in recommending Lall and Dulai for promotion, Persaud said that it was unfair to reject someone who has not been convicted. “Yeah but he has nothing on the record. There is no disciplinary…,” he said.
When a reporter pointed out that the Constitutional Rights of the Child Commission called for the promotion of the two policemen to be rescinded, the Police Commissioner said “we have to address policies before we can do that.”