Guyanese Shaheed ‘ Roger’ Khan, who was deported from the United States (US) Friday night, was immediately taken into custody for the murder of African rights activist, Ronald Waddell and former boxing coach, Donald Allison, his lawyer Glen Hanoman said early Saturday.
“He is going to be kept in custody. The police are investigating two matters…I was informed that allegations were put to him in my absence. Those allegations related to the murder of Donald Allison and (Ronald) Waddell and that he would be kept in custody pending investigation so there has been no decision but they are investigating those specific matters so I think we have to allow those investigations to continue,” Hanoman said.
Speaking with reporters shortly before 2 am Saturday shortly after talking with Khan at the Guyana Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Department, Eve Leary, Hanoman said as far he was aware police investigators and the Director of Public Prosecutors Chambers had advised that they do not have evidence on those matters to charge Khan.
“I am aware that there is no evidence on either of those two matters and I am also aware that legal advice was given to the police that there was no evidence on which any charge could be laid so the only logical thing is that they hope to get some sort of evidence from him which I doubt that they will,” the lawyer said.
Waddell was gunned down in his car outside his seaside Subryanville, Georgetown home in January 10, 2006. A US informant, Selwyn Vaughn, had testified in a US court saying that he had been a member of an alleged death squad that had been headed by Khan, and he had known that the drug trafficker had ordered the hit on Waddell. Allison was shot dead outside the Ricola Boxing Gym in Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara, on September 8, 2005 because he had been believed to have been supporting heavily-armed gunmen in Buxton.
While Hanoman could not claim to know everything, he said as far as he was aware there were no statements to implicate Khan in those murders. He said he was not surprised that Khan was arrested. “It is not unexpected given all the gossip and politicking that has gone on around this gentleman,” the lawyer said.
In and out of government, the People’s National Congress Reform-dominated coalition had accused Khan of being at the centre of a death squad that had been responsible for the deaths of 400 mainly Afro-Guyanese during the “troubles” of 2002-2008, which had begun after the escape of five dangerous criminals on February 23, 2002.
Court records in a US appeal case-United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee–Cross–Appellant v. Robert SIMELS, Defendant–Appellant, Arienne Irving, Defendant–Cross–Appellee” state that “Vaughn testified that on one occasion Khan asked him to verify the location of Donald Allison, an enemy of Khan’s. Donald Allison was the brother of George Allison and a relative of David Clarke, both potential witnesses against Khan. Just after Vaughn informed Khan of Donald Allison’s location, gunmen drove up and murdered him. On another occasion Khan instructed Vaughn to report the location of Ronald Waddelle, a talk show host who regularly criticized Khan. Vaughn did so, and gunmen drove up and murdered Waddelle.”
Hanoman, a prominent criminal lawyer, said he and Khan protested the fact that police had been recording their conversation and the cameraman eventually relented. Hanoman said his client told him that he was happy to return to Guyana.
Khan was expected to be moved to a minimum security police station on the outskirts of Georgetown, and Hanoman said he was satisfied with the security arrangements that have been put in place for his client.
The American Airlines commercial flight at about 11:36 pm, brought home Khan who spent about 10 years in a US jail from the time he was caught in neighbouring Suriname and whisked off to New York via Trinidad to face trial for drug trafficking.
Khan was believed to be a key figure in a group that had hunted heavily armed criminals. He had often boasted of preventing a coup against the Bharrat Jagdeo-led administration.
Jagdeo has sought to distance itself from Khan and has repeatedly said if he is found culpable he should face the law.
Evidence led in a New York court had shown that then Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had signed a letter approving the purchase of sophisticated telephone interception and location equipment.
Khan and several of his cohorts had been arrested with such equipment and guns and ammunition at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara.