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Police get off scot-free because woman failed to ID police in husband’s death

A number of policemen has escaped criminal prosecution for the death of a detainee because his wife failed to turn up to identify the alleged perpetrators, but several of them would be charged departmentally.

“Due to her failure to attend the identification parade the identity of the ranks who allegedly assaulted her husband remains unknown. Therefore there is no evidence linking any particular police rank to the injuries inflicted on the deceased.

 The Director of Public Prosecutions has advised that no criminal charges be preferred against any of the police ranks,” said the Guyana Police Force in a statement. However, Departmental Charges have been advised against two Sergeants, one Corporal, one Lance Corporal and two Constables for neglect of duty.

The Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), Justice Cecil Kennard has recommended that another inmate, who had allegedly assaulted the now dead man, be charged with manslaughter.

But the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers first wants him arrested before police seek further advice on whether he should be charged.

Police said that following the completion of investigations by the Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) into the circumstances surrounding the death of Asif Rahim Khatoon, of Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara , which occurred at his home on November 27, 2014, the police have sought and received legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

 It was alleged that Khatoon had been assaulted by police ranks while in custody at the Leonora Police Station during the evening of November 21, 2014.

 According to the advice of the Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority the wife of the deceased, Soorsattie Chandrapaul, failed to attend an identification parade which was to be held by the police for the purpose of affording her an opportunity to identify the police ranks who might have assaulted the deceased on the evening of November 21, 2014.

 In her statement to the police she said that she heard her husband saying that he had been struck by a police rank who was in the tray of the vehicle on his way to the Leonora Police Station, but this evidence is hearsay and cannot be relied upon. Further she stated that before they had entered the Enquiries Office at the Leonora Police Station a short stocky policeman had kicked her husband under his chin.

 Police said that evidence collected during the investigations had revealed that another prisoner had allegedly assaulted Asif Rahim Khatoon while he was in custody. The prisoner had been released from custody prior to the launching of the investigations and efforts to locate him since have so far been unsuccessful.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has advised that more efforts be made to locate the other inmate, and if located that further advice be sought as it relates to him.