by Zena Henry
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Clement Rohee has made it absolutely clear that there was no relationship between self confessed ‘death squad’ member Sean Hinds and has disputed the former policeman’s claims that he was given security contracts for and by the PPP.
During the party’s weekly press conference at Freedom House Monday July 27, Rohee was pressed for answers following Hinds’ explosive interview pertaining to political murders and execution set ups among others. He also made connections with the PPP, which was the party in power at the time.
Rohee said, “As far as I am aware as General Secretary of this party from the time I assumed the position, I don’t know about any security being provided by Shawn Hinds for the PPP.” He said, “There is no relationship between Shawn Hinds and the People’s Progressive Party.”
Asked about Hinds’ claim of making numerous appearances at Freedom House; -one as recent as last week- Rohee said, “I saw him (Hinds) here (at Freedom House) sitting waiting to see someone,” but he did not ask him who he was waiting for.
When asked too about security concerns since Hinds’ has been on the police’s radar for some time and has been fingered in a number of murders and robberies, Rohee responded that a man is innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to his pre-trial liberty, while describing the party’s headquarters as a public building, and suggesting that it is open to anyone, including Hinds.
Even as former Home Affairs minister, Rohee did not make it clear whether there was a security concern that Hinds’, with a known background, was visiting Freedom House. He responded, “I do not want- with due respect- to get into this; is the party concerned, because if I answer that to say yes, we are concerned, you will report it that Rohee is concerned about that. I am concerned about the way you guys express my concerns.”
On this issue also, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo also hinted over the weekend a possible plot to end his life and it was even reported that the PM claimed that Hinds was spotted staking out his home sometime back.
When asked about this matter, Rohee said the PM’s statement was a big joke. He said “If there is anyone in this country who knows Nagamootoo as best as I do, as best as possible politically and otherwise, I am one of them… so I wouldn’t take Nagamootoo’ statement… he is good at spinning things, he is good at concocting things, he has a very wildly imaginative view of things,” Rohee responded.
The GS was finally asked what he thinks should happen to Hinds’ given his ‘death squad’ confession, he preferred however to leave the question for the Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud. The burning questions that continued to pour in from the media given the recent revelation that has more than merely linked the PPP to criminal activities were cut short when the presser’s director and party Executive Secretary Zulfikar Mustapha denied any more questions on the topic.
Hinds’ was however seen over the years within the circle of PPP members and affiliates. The most recent was former Town Clerk (ag) Carol Sooba who brought in Hinds as her bodyguard during her political fights with the Mayor and City Council (M&CC). Although the Council expressed some amount of fear and concern that he was daily in the Council’s compound, the City Constabulary and the police said there was nothing to be done about it.
Hinds has in recent years been seen at PPP political meetings, including one at Buxton where hus cap was pulled down close to his face, and at State House during the swearing in of Donald Ramotar as President.