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Date: 18 Aug 17 12:13am
Former Police Sergeant, Colin Bailey, was yesterday committed to stand trial at the High Court in Georgetown for allegedly murdering his reputed wife, Sirmattie Ramnaress.Bailey, 53, of Lot 63 South Vryheid Lust, East Coast Demerara, and Colin Grant, Ramnaress’s neighbour, of Lot 1161 Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara were both informed that a Prima Facie case was made out against them at the end of a Preliminary Inquiry (PI).The Preliminary Inquiry was heard by Magistrate Fabayo Azore. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Stephen Telford, represented the prosecution.It is alleged that they killed the woman between August 30 and August 31, 2013 at Diamond Housing Scheme, Cheap Jerseys Authentic, East Bank Demerara.The men will go before a judge and jury at the next practical sitting of the Demerara Criminal Assizes.According to reports, the body of 36-year-old Ramnaress was found lying face down in the garage of her home on August 31, 2013. It was a blaze coming from the woman’s home that led firefighters to a bond, when they stumbled upon her body. Her body reportedly bore two stab wounds- one to the neck and another to the hip.The police, in a statement had said that Ramnaresss house was ransacked and drenched with a flammable liquid, and a storage bond at the rear of the building was destroyed by fire.The ex-sergeant had always claimed that he had no involvement in the woman’s death when he was viewed as a suspect. But police had later suggested that Bailey was no longer a suspect. Bailey had told Kaieteur News, I had a feeling all the time because I knew I was not part of it. I knew some time it would have come to light.Bailey was dismissed from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) following corruption accusations against him. He and another police officer were placed before the courts for allegedly accepting bribes in order to dissolve a criminal matter. They were accused of obtaining $300, 000 as inducement to forgo charges for illegal arms and ammunition possession.
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Date: 18 Aug 17 12:13am
More than a decade after gunmen, in a home invasion that shocked the nation, Michael Lorenzen Reds Jersey, killed former Minister Satyadeo Sawh, the administration has recommitted its readiness to launch an inquiry.Murdered 10 years ago: Fmr. Agri Minister, Satyadeow ‘Sash’ SawhOn Wednesday, President David Granger disclosed that he has been approached by a “blood relative” of Sawh who has appealed for an inquiry.None was launched by Sawh’s own party, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), since his murder back on the evening of April 22, 2006.Speaking to reporters on Wednesday during his weekly taped television programme, ‘The Public Interest’, President Granger made it clear that an inquiry is coming.It would be part of a bigger quest to find answers to the several deaths dating back to the early 2000s, under the reign of the PPP/C governments.Admitting that he is committed to a full investigation into the minister’s killing, the President noted that many were killed, including witnesses.A formal Commission of Inquiry will be launched in due course, he said, stressing that his first commitment is to assure relatives that the deaths will be investigated.Last year August, the President promised that thorough inquiries will be held into the killings of Sawh and all who were slain during the 2000 and 2008 period.The President made the announcement at a one-day symposium organized by the Cuffy 250 Committee in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion.“When you have Ministers of government bringing in computers so you can track down people’s mobile phones; when you have a lot of men being shot at the back of their heads with their hands tied; when you have so many deaths which are not being investigated; when you have a minister of government who has been assassinated and you don’t have an inquest into his death, there is something stink and we are going to investigate those deaths, ” said Granger.President David Granger“Never before in history have so many policemen been killed than during the tenure of office of Bharrat Jagdeo and that is why they constructed that monument (Fallen Heroes) and if you go to Buxton you will see another huge monument, ” the President remarked referencing the Monument in Buxton, East Coast Demerara where the names of over 450 victims of extra-judicial killings over the last two decades are inscribed.“So, Mr. Jagdeo has many monuments to his memory and those three monuments must remind us about the deaths which took place between 2000 and 2008 when he was President. We must make sure that our country never again becomes so divided that we feel that the only way of resolve our differences is by violent crime, ” the President said.Sawh, his sister Phulmattie Persaud, brother Rajpat Rai Sawh and security guard, Curtis Robinson, were gunned down on the evening of April 22, 2008 at the Minister’s La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demer­ara residence.The killing sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Sawh was a Minister of the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government but the questions over his death were many. No inquest was ever held. One man was charged with the murder.The promised external assistance that Government had announced it would have been seeking following Sawh’s death never materialised.Since the establishment of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), 62 officers and ranks have died in the line of duty. Interestingly, 31 of them died during the period President Granger vows to investigate.Among the slain lawmen was Superintendent Leon Fraser in 2002. His death also left questions and calls for investigation.On January 26, 2008, heavily armed gunmen stormed the village of Lusignan, slaughtering 11 persons, including five children.On February 17, 2008, a number of gunmen invaded the mining community of Bartica, Essequibo. They attacked the Bartica Police Station, where they killed Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir, Constable Shane Fredericks and Constable Ron Osborne.After murdering the three police officers, the gang stole cash, arms, ammunition and a vehicle from the police station. Using the stolen police vehicle, they drove through the streets of Bartica shooting at civilians, fatally wounding Irwin Gilkes.They then proceeded to CBR Mining, where they killed Irving Ferreira, stole arms and ammunition and removed two safes containing cash and gold.Next, they shot and killed Dexter Adrian before returning to the wharf. At the wharf, they executed Abdool Yassin Jr, Deonarine Singh, Errol Thomas, Ronald Gomes, Baldeo Singh and Ashraf Khan.Eight years ago, eight gold miners were slaughtered at Lindo Creek, Berbice River.Officials of the then PPP/C government were convinced that the crime wave was drug and gang-related.By the time of the Diwali massacre of November 2002, ‘phantom’ gangs had killed many and the police were not making any arrests.
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Date: 18 Aug 17 12:13am
Police Assistant Commissioner Balram Persaud will soon be relieved of command of the West Demerara Division and reassigned to Headquarters, Eve Leary.Persaud, who was assisting police in their investigations into the fatal shooting of drug rehabilitation counsellor Ralph Turpin by a junior rank, will be assigned to the Department of Development.Balram PersaudThe department is virtually defunct and is considered a place for senior officers who have fallen out of favour with the Force’s hierarchy and is considered as ‘desk duty’.Controversial Assistant Commissioner Steve Merai spent six years there before his appointment as commander of the Berbice Division.Kaieteur News understands that although Persaud , who was charged for treason under the Desmond Hoyte administration and later released under the new government, was being investigated by the Force’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the decision to relieve him of the Divisional Command was made by authorities outside of the Force.According to a source, the move is linked to the Turpin incident two weeks ago. Several previous controversies may also have been taken into consideration.Persaud was also involved in an incident in which several revelers were shot during a confrontation with the police at Windsor Forest last Easter Monday.However, he is also credited with making West Demerara one of the least crime-prone divisions in the country.Persaud reportedly admitted to being at the scene of the fatal shooting of Turpin, but claimed that he was not aware of what was actually transpiring.Eyewitnesses had claimed though that he was in company with the person who did the shooting.Lance Corporal Sherwin Smith, who was also stationed on the West Coast of Demerara, has since been charged with Turpin’s murder.A senior police official told this newspaper that Assistant Commissioner Persaud did not immediately report the incident but did so only when he was approached to give a statement.Brian JosephPersaud, Wholesale China Jerseys, who underwent heart complications surgery just a few years ago, is expected to take up his new appointment on October 1.His replacement will be Senior Superintendent Brian Joseph, who is presently the Commander of the Police ‘G’ Division (Essequibo Coast), while Superintendent Paul Williams will remain as Deputy Commander.Superintendent Stephen Mansell from the police narcotics section will take up the position as Commander in Essequibo.
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Date: 18 Aug 17 12:13am
PNCR Leader Brigadier (Rtd) David Granger met scores of villagers during a “walk-about” in Ann’s Grove, Two Friends and Dochfour villages, East Coast Demerara. During the walk-about he listened to the problems affecting their communities.Villagers expressed their concern about rising unemployment and the dysfunctional public education system which is producing an unmanageable number of dropouts.Brig (ret’d) David Granger listens to the woes of a resident of Ann’s GroveGranger was told that many villagers were small miners who worked in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region. Several of them complained about having been systematically ‘shaken down’ by rogue policemen and harassed by armed retainers of rich miners. Many have been driven away from their claims and are now unemployed.Three villagers were killed in a mining accident at Aranka earlier this month. Villagers also raised other concerns – including poor drainage, bad roads, lack of adequate street lighting and lack of proper sporting and leisure facilities for young people – in the historic community.Granger was able to see the results of poor government infrastructure works such as badly constructed roads, inadequate street lights and unfinished bridges that impede the flow of traffic– all of which have had an adverse effect on the daily lives of residents.The PNCR Leader said that Central Government and Regional Administration had roles to play in alleviating the villagers’ distress. He appealed to residents, however, to organize themselves to save the environment by preventing the dumping of bottles, plastics and Styrofoam into canals and the dumping of garbage along the roadways.Granger challenged the youth of Ann’s Grove and Two Friends to mobilise, organise and collectively develop proper playing fields in the community.The PNCR Leader was accompanied on his village walk-about by the Chairman of the Demerara-Mahaica Region Clement Corlette, Guyana Youth and Student Movement Chairman Christopher Jones, Omar Vizquel Tigers Jersey, and Regional Councillors.
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Date: 18 Aug 17 12:12am
A report by the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) has highlighted the entity’s concerns over complaints that the Guyana Government may be unfairly using state advertisements to give back-door financial assistance to favoured media houses.A review by the body revealed “extreme inequalities in the way such advertising is distributed”.The state-owned Guyana Chronicle and The Mirror, a newspaper owned by the ruling party received “more than four times as much state advertising space as the so-called “opposition” papers, Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, ” the IPI found. Kaieteur News has the largest distribution, followed by Stabroek News.The ads issue has over the years raised tensions between private, independent media houses and Government, with the latter at one time withdrawing all its ads, announcing that it would be placing these on its eprocure.gov.gy website. However, the previous administration later reversed the decision, allowing state ads to be placed once again in the private media.Observers believe that this was done to facilitate a new newspaper, with close links to the government, to receive state ads.Earlier this year, the IPI, a powerful watchdog body of which several prominent media houses and journalists are part, received complaints over the placements of ads, which it was opined was not done in a transparent manner.The IPI noted that Kaieteur News was the biggest selling newspaper on Sundays with 37, 000 copies, Chris Paul College Jersey, but in terms of state ads, it received the least.The review was conducted over a four-day period in May of this year where it was found that the Guyana Chronicle received 8, 397 column inches of state ads. The Mirror came next with 3, 247 while the Guyana Times, a newspaper with close links to former President Jagdeo, was third with 1, 581 column inches. Stabroek News received 1, 147 with Kaieteur News at the bottom with a total of 664 column inches.The placements become even more bizarre when taken in context of the circulation of the newspapers.According to the IPI review, the Guyana Chronicle is claiming circulation of 18, 000 copies on Sundays, with no figures provided for The Mirror. The Guyana Times, meanwhile, claimed 20, 000-25, 000 copies on Sundays, but insiders said this figure is more like 6, 000. Stabroek News is doing 19, 800 copies. Kaieteur News remained on top with 37, 000 copies.“As shown, these figures do not correlate with circulation numbers: the Chronicle has (according to its own estimate) one-half of Kaieteur News’s readership, yet receives, on average, 12 times as much state advertising. Such data certainly lend weight to accusations of deliberate discrimination in the distribution of official advertising, in order to punish certain newspapers for expressing their opinions. Speaking about the Chronicle and The Mirror, one editor said state advertising was a “back door subsidy because their circulation is low and they don’t attract many ads from the private sector.”In 2006, the government abruptly withdrew state advertising from Stabroek News. Official advertising was restored to that newspaper in May 2008, after 17 months, but was almost completely withdrawn again in 2010. Prior to the dual withdrawals, state ads had accounted for 15 per cent of Stabroek’s advertising revenue.According to IPI, Principle 13 of the Inter-American Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression, promulgated in October 2000, clearly states: “The exercise of power and the use of public funds by the state, the granting of customs duty privileges, the arbitrary and discriminatory placement of official advertising and government loans; the concession of radio and television broadcast frequencies, among others, with the intent to put pressure on and punish or reward and provide privileges to social communicators and communications media because of the opinions they express threaten freedom of expression, must be explicitly prohibited by law. The means of communication have the right to carry out their role in an independent manner. Direct or indirect pressures exerted upon journalists or other social communicators to stifle the dissemination of information are incompatible with freedom of expression.”On Monday, the IPI called on Government to begin a review of all outstanding broadcast licence applications, including those filed before the Broadcast Act took effect. The body also urged that the granting of any new television and radio licences should be done transparently and under the guidance of an independent Broadcast Authority.The IPI’s three-week visit to the region was to check on progress made by the countries to eliminate old criminal defamation laws.
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