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Brickdam Police Station arson accused challenges police to return to cell to prove he set fire

Last Updated on Wednesday, 6 October 2021, 19:16 by Denis Chabrol

Lawyers for Brickdam Police Station arson accused, Clarence Greene, on Wednesday said he was assaulted during a video recorded interview during which he maintained his innocence in last Saturday’s inferno.

When the arson accused was taken back to the fire scene at Brickdam, Mr. Daniels said Mr. Greene was confronted by a detainee who had accused him of being responsible for the blaze. The lawyer said his client denied responsibility and suggested that investigators accompany him back to the cell to show them that it was impossible to set the fire with a lit sponge on a wire. “He suggested to the officers that, if they do so wished, they can carry out an inspection of his cell  and that inspection should disclose to them that he is incapable of doing what they suggested that he did,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Daniels repeatedly stated that those were the instructions provided by Mr. Greene who also claimed he was bruised on his shoulder from the assault during the police interrogation.

“A video recorded interview was conducted with him and during the course of that interview, he was hit by one of the officers repeatedly on his left shoulder… He said that he maintained during the course of that interview that he did not start the fire and the allegations made against him were false,” Attorney-at-Law Ronald Daniels told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM / Demerara Waves Online News.

Although the Guyana Police Force has publicly rejected claims by the arson accused that he was forced to sign a statement, Attorney-at-Law Daniels said his client maintained that he was coerced into inking a purported confession. “He was presented with a statement and he was instructed to sign that statement, He could not read that statement when he  saw it,” he said.

The lawyer said he was unsure whether Mr. Greene was presented with the statement to read or sign, but the client said an officer urged him to “make haste and sign” it which he did while under “forceful” treatment.

Mr. Daniels said the defence team could request to see the video recording, but it should be presented to the court as evidence if it is deemed admissible.

Fellow Attorney-at-Law, Kiswana Jefford said as far as she was informed, Mr. Greene had nothing in his possession that could have been used to set a fire to the colonial era wooden edifice. “He was searched and no items capable of harming anyone or any building were found in him,” he said.

Ms. Jefford said after the detainees were moved to two other building, and he was searched twice and nothing was found in his possession.

Police said Mr. Greene would be charged and arraigned before a Magistrate on Thursday.

Just hours before Saturday’s fire, police said he had been arrested as part of an investigation into robbery under arms.