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Govt using DPP, police to go after PPP members, says party

Just hours after police were advised to charge former Public Service Minister Dr. Jennifer Westford in connection with the alleged acquisition of government vehicles, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) accused government of using the law enforcement agencies to go on a witch-hunt of political opponents.

“The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has noted the pressure being exerted on the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP’s) Chambers, to advice in favour of bringing charges against members of the Party.

The Party further notes efforts by the Granger Administration to persecute PPP members using the Police and the Courts to do so,” said the PPP in a statement.

Westford is accused of transferring at least eight government vehicles to herself, her paramour and other persons and further proceeding to ask the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to transfer the registration from government to those individuals.

Police have already said that Westford had facilitated the return of the vehicles.

“Moreover, the PPP registers its concern over the increasing attempts by Granger and his cohorts to give orders and directives  to constitutional office holders, which  by its very nature, constitutes a serious threat to our democracy and the erosion of the doctrine of separation of powers,” says the PPP.

President David Granger and Public Service Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan had very early in the life of the new administration signaled that they wanted two policemen, one governed by the Police Service Commission (PSC), kicked out of the Guyana Police Force for their alleged role in the torture of a teenager during interrogation into the death of former Region Three Chairman Ramenaught Bisram. The teen’s penis and testicles were soaked with methylated spirits and set alight. The PSC has since ruled that one of the policemen could not be fired. He has since been transferred to the Canine Branch of the police force.

The PPP used the opportunity to remind Guyanese of statements made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, who was quoted in sections of the media as saying, “I think there is a lot of pressure on the relevant ministers to ensure that people are prosecuted.”

The PPP charged that Greenidge’s statement was not the only one which is centrally directed to exert pressures on the DPP’s Chambers, the police and ultimately the courts.

According to that party Minister of State Joseph Harmon was purported to have publicly declared that “we are going after the big fishes.”

The PPP concluded that “clearly, the aim is to achieve a goal that is consistent with a political-motivated agenda of the Granger Administration. “The PPP, therefore, urges the DPP’s Chambers, the Guyana Police Force and the Judiciary, to act independently of any political interference.”