Dharamlall’s alleged child rape case file for DPP; police asked accused to leave home after girl protested

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2023, 19:29 by Denis Chabrol

Mr Nigel Dharamlall

Police appeared to have wrapped up their investigations into Local Government Minister, Nigel Dharamlall’s alleged rape of a 16-year old girl and was poised to seek legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), even as that law enforcement agency fended off claims that it breached procedures in probing a sexual offence involving a minor.

“The case file containing the report, statements, and other documentary evidence will be forwarded tomorrow to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” Head of the police force’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Assistant Commissioner Wendell Blanhum told Demerara Waves Online News.

Mr Dharamlall, through his lawyer Nigel Hughes, has denied all allegations. He is on GY$1 million station bail and, at his request, on leave from ministerial duties.

The Guyana Police Force confirmed that “all Standard Operating Procedures were followed in the conduct of this investigation.”

On the question of whether Mr Dharamlall was at his home, where the girl was allegedly raped, police said “more importantly, at the time the virtual complainant walked investigators through the alleged crime scene, under the supervision of a Superintendent of Police in charge of crime in Region 4 ‘A’, the accused was not present, since he had already left as he was instructed to do by investigators.”

Well-placed sources said Mr Dharamlall only left his home when the girl protested. “Nigel Dharamlall was present when the virtual complainant arrived at the scene and when she walked into the house. He was then asked to leave after she protested and the CPA (Child Care and Protection) Officer took her back to the car until he left. He left straight away when asked,” the source said.

Asked whether the girl’s brother, who is under 10 yeas old brother. was questioned by police , without the presence of his parents or an attorney, police said “at no time whatsoever was any of the minors involved in this investigation questioned in the absence of a parent and a welfare officer.”

The opposition A Partnership for National Unity, The Citizenship Initiative political party, Guyana Trades Union Congress, Guyana Public Service  Union, Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers have all called for a fair and impartial police probe into the alleged incident.

Already, there are concerns that Mr Dharamlall’s house allegedly smelled of fresh paint during a walk-through by the girl in the company of police and persons responsible for her care.