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Date: 24 May 17 06:38pm
In a packed courtroom yesterday, the treason case against Army reservist Leonard Wharton, Major Bruce Munroe and wife Carol-Ann Munroe, continued with the prosecution and the defence again going head to head over what the defence is claiming is the non correlation of charges as against what the constitution stipulates the charge should entail.For the last three hearings, the court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, has been listening to arguments from the state and the defence pertaining to the particulars of the treason charge.On one hand, the defence which is headed by Attorney Nigel Hughes, is arguing that the charge against the treason trio is not corresponding with the law and moreover it is missing a key element on which any treason charge should rely.On the other hand, state-appointed prosecutor Vic Puran, who had initially told the court that he would seek to amend the charge, is saying that the charge could stand as it is and that there is nothing omitted.In the charge against the three accused there is mention of the persons intending to levy war in Guyana and to depose of the President.But Hughes is arguing that according to the constitution there must be a clear indication of the manifestation of the intent to commit treason by an overt act. He is saying that there must be more than just an intention or a thought for the crime of treason to be committed. The lawyer is adamant that none of what the law is saying has been made part of the charge against the accused.He consequently told the court that in light of the evidence being brought by the prosecution, it would be safe to assume that if anyone only contemplated or thought to overthrow or even kill the President then it becomes an act of treason, punishable by prosecution.The lawyer further argued that with the omission of the overt act or without the identification of what that overt act reportedly committed by the accused entailed, then it is difficult for the defence to lay their case.For one thing, the lawyer argued, the accused would not know what they are answering to or what they did, that was deemed treasonous.Puran, prior to this, Cheap NFL Jerseys China, had laid over submissions to the court as to why the charge against the accused could stand. He sought to explain that with the intention alone, that was the overt act committed for the charge of treason to stand against the accused.Puran argued that within the charge, “there is the intention to……” With that, the lawyer claimed that the intention was the overt act committed. Puran argued that the overt act could not be brought out in the particulars of the charge, but the evidence of the overt act must be brought out when the evidence against the accused is given.And with that, another argument began as Hughes again touched on the case of the defence being unsure because of the unstated overt act. “The accused must know what they are answering to. The purpose of the overt act is for the defence to address the issue, and not the principle charge of treason.” Hughes further said that the charge makes no reference to any such overt acts.Puran laid over his submissions while quoting from authorities to support his arguments for the charge to stand. Puran told the court that it was a case of the three persons coming together and conspiring to commit the act, only that it was not carried out.The matter was adjourned until next Wednesday. The court will continue to peruse the very thick file of submissions presented by the two sides.The prosecution had closed its case since March 5. Three major witnesses had testified in the matter. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Simeon Reid, Army Lieutenant Colonel Sydney James and chief witness Quincy Critchlow were the three to give their testimony before the closing of the case.The Munroes and Wharton are accused of conspiring with persons unknown to overthrow the Guyana Government by way of anarchy.
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Date: 24 May 17 06:38pm
Government has assured car dealers and used tyres importers that they will be given time to sell out their stocks before a planned ban and age restriction is implemented.Government has assured that the age restriction of less than eight years for vehicles importation will not affect importers.Responding to questions yesterday, Minister of Finance, Cheap NFL Jerseys China, Winston Jordan, assured that the notices as announced in his 2016 National Budget presentation on Friday are all part of the plans by the administration to ensure that the quality of life of Guyana is taken to the next level.There are scores of used car importers and used tyres dealers scattered across the country.The announcements sparked concerns about the impact on the livelihood of the businesses and employees.An estimated 10, 000 vehicles are being imported every year after local banks relaxed their interest rates within the past few years, making it affordable for the working class to buy cars.On Friday, Jordan announced that there will be a removal of the Excise Tax on motor vehicles that are under four years old and 1500cc. These vehicles currently attract Excise Tax at the rate of 30 percent with an effective tax rate of 118.7 percent. With this removal, Jordan explained, the effective tax rate will be reduced to 68.2 percent.Another major impact from the budget would be the reduction of excise tax from 50 percent to 10 percent on motor vehicles under four years old – that is for vehicles between 1500cc and under 2000cc. The effective tax rate of 152.3 percent for this category will be reduced to 85 percent.From May 1, the Finance Minister also announced, there will be restriction on the importation of used and/or re-conditioned vehicles older than eight years old from the date of manufacture to the date of importation.He also signaled the intentions by Government to ban the importation of used tyres and to reduce taxes on new tyres to encourage their use.“This ban will be put into effect as soon as some procedural hurdles are cleared, ” he said.Speaking to reporters at his Main Street office, yesterday, Minister Jordan made it clear that the motivations for the changes were done with the intentions to “green” the economy – clean the environment and generally to ensure safety for citizens.He also pointed out that the importation of newer, modern vehicles will also positively impact on maintenance costs for the owners.He stressed that it is a fact that used tyres have a shorter lifespan than newer ones. Used tyres sometimes barely make it to three months, and there are also the issues of safety concerns.A number of deadly vehicular accidents in the past have been blamed on used tyres.Jordan stressed that dealers and tyre importers, and retailers will be given time to adapt.It is a fact that many dealers still have vehicles since from the 1990s in their inventories so the impact is more of long-term one, Jordan said.Recently, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) attempted to sell several vehicles left on the wharves for a number of years, but in vain.Newer vehicles will spell a longer service to the owners, the minister said.“I gave notice that we are going to ban tyres. I said there were some procedural hurdles and once we clear those hurdles it will get implemented. We will give adequate notice…If you have stocks…well they are here… The ban is essential on imports.” (Leonard Gildarie)
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Date: 24 May 17 06:38pm
People who find them self in compromising situations when transacting business at Government agencies where they are forced to pay bribes to get efficient service, now have an avenue to make their stories known.This is now made possible with the Ministry of Home Affairs I paid a bribe website. Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee and Information Technology Specialist Floyd Levi yesterday introducedAt Left Information Technology Specialist Floyd Levi and Home Affairs Clement Rohee during the launching of the website yesterday.the website to members of the media.This website will allow for persons to report incidents of paying bribe to Government agencies most of which fall under the various Government Ministries. However, persons reporting their experiences on the site are not allowed to name people with whom they come into contact. But the amount of money paid and to which department it was paid to, can be stated on the site, Cheap Jerseys NFL China, the date and office location can be stated.This is a part of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan to introduce online crime reporting.The I Paid a bribe website was first introduced in India in 2010 and has since been successfully used in other countries around the world to combat the issue of corruption.While the site does not provide for prosecution, the Minister said it will help to clamp down on human factors at the various Government Agencies.This, the Minister said, will bring all Guyanese in on the debate of corruption.
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Date: 24 May 17 06:37pm
Commissioner of Police Henry Greene yesterday described the relationship between the late Assistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray and murdered constable Kelvin Shepherd was inappropriate.Speaking to reporters at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, yesterday, the Commissioner said that the relationship between the two men was ‘very close’ without going into details.Assistant Superintendent Murray shot himself dead with the police service revolver shortly after murdering shepherd in the barrack room of the Whim Police Station, in a shocking murder suicide that has left the force in a state of shock.The incident which followed closely on the heels of the slaying of a Police Constable Vickram Singh who was on guard duty at the entrance of the Joint Services Housing Scheme in Lamaha Springs, was described as sad by the Commissioner, especially at a time when the force is celebrating its 171 anniversary.“My information seems to suggest there was a close relationship between the officer and the young man. I’m told the young man used to drive his car. I’m told he used to feed him, provide food for him. I’m told he used to stay at his house, every now and then he would stay at his (Officer) home, ” the Commissioner said.Constable Kelvin Shepherd He explained that the Corporal who had visited the barrack room shortly before the incident was told by the Officer that the two had a close relationship. This was verified by the Constable, he said.The Corporal then left the barrack room before Shepherd received the gunshot wound to his head.Responding to suggestions that there might be similar relationships within the Guyana Police Force, the Police Commissioner said that there is no law preventing such relationships.“I think it would be inappropriate for an officer to go to that extent, to have a male Constable, feeding him, driving his car, giving him privileges in the enquiries office that sort of thing is inappropriate conduct. But there is no law that stops him from having that sort of thing, ” the Commissioner said, adding that the close relationship between the Officer and the Constable was not brought to the attention of the force’s hierarchy prior to the incident.“What we will do if it’s brought to our attention is to call the officer, speak with him and say to him, well, look, this is inappropriate. Unfortunately in this circumstance, this was not observed or noticed…and therefore we could do nothing about it, ” he added.But according to a Divisional Commander who spoke to Kaieteur News on condition of anonymity, the problem of ‘close relationships’ exists within the organization but the Force does not have a definitive policy on it.The Commander said that some officers are aware that it does exist but in the absence of a policy, many of them pass it off as a joke and could even be heard making light talk about it.Commissioner Greene said that the recent incidents are indeed a sad saga in the life of the Guyana Police Force.“This is probably a bad season for us. It’s not that we’re happy with what’s happening. We continue to do several things-to train, to mentor, Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, to talk to ranks…we can do so much and no more, ” Greene told the media.
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Date: 24 May 17 06:37pm
…opposition unable to prevent its implementation – Granger   The Ministry of Health has clearly devised a mechanism whereas New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC) will be the only supplier of drugs to Government.New GPC owner Dr Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ RamroopThis is according to Leader of the Political Opposition, Brigadier David Granger, who in an invited comment yesterday, said that based on the changes made to the prequalification procedures by the Ministry of Health; it creates a situation where rivals of New GPC will not be able to meet the criteria.Under the revised criteria for the prequalification of suppliers of drugs and medical supplies they must demonstrate a gross turnover of $1B (US$5M) and net assets of $500M (US$2.5M).The Ministry’s criteria said that maximum score will be awarded to applicants which have paid $50M in corporate taxes annually.The company with 50 or more employees, and warehousing capacity of 30, 000 square feet in the city, will also gain an edge.New GPC is owned by Dr Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, former president, Bharrat Jagdeo’s best friend and is the only supplier, locally, with its own bond of that size.According to the revised prequalification criteria, maximum points will also be awarded in the evaluation process to the applicants who have been supplying Government more than seven years without any negative reports.Brigadier Granger said that what the Ministry has done is to device tailor-made criteria meant to negate other competitors so that New GPC will be used as the sole supplier of drugs.The Opposition Leader conceded that the parliamentary would be unable to prevent the implementation of this strategy, given that it is a Ministerial Order.He did say that with the coming into being of the Public Procurement Commission what they might be able to do is address procurement at that time.Granger’s sentiments come on the heels of recent criticism of the prequalification criteria, by Alliance for Change (AFC) Leader Khemraj Ramjattan.Ramjattan, in an earlier interview published by Kaieteur News, had said, Cheap NFL Jerseys, “Could you imagine the resultant impoverishment of the treasury and corresponding enrichment to New GPC! This is bloody larceny, but in the eyes of past and present PPP administrations it is economics. The little boy who picks your pocket for a $2, 000 would have to go to jail.“But this big company will be extolled as virtuous when over $2B is what it profits in a roughly similar activity.”The last pre-qualification period for suppliers of drugs and medical supplies expired on December 31. The Ministry of Health had been looking to select the suppliers for the next three years.A pre-qualified contractor is automatically considered when it is time to order critical or emergency supplies.Former PresidentBharrat JagdeoWith billions of taxpayers’ dollars at stake, independent suppliers and the Opposition have time and again been accusing Government of favouring New GPC, a company whose principal, Bobby Ramroop, shares close ties with former President Jagdeo.The company has been benefiting from billions of dollars annually, controlling supplies of up to 80 per cent of the drugs purchased by the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Ministry of Health.