Govt seeks assistance of “expert” to lead Charrandas ‘probe’

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is presently engaging an expert in the investigation of Former Member of Parliament, Charrandas Persaud to advise on the evidence gathered over the past weeks.
The probe surfaced after Persaud voted in favour of the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion which toppled the Government on December 21, 2018.
While the Police have been tightlipped on the investigations, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan disclosed, “The police has asked an expert on matters dealing with this issue to give some advice on all the statements so far taken, whether these can be tantamount to any violations of any sort”.
Hours after his “yes” vote, Persaud boarded a plane at the Eugene F Correia Airport, where he left the country for Canada. According to reports, a Canadian diplomat, along with Peter Ramsaroop had obtained protocol passes to see Charrandas off.
Ramsaroop’s support of Charrandas has resulted in a suspension of the protocol pass over an alleged security breach. This order came from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) although the airport insisted there was no breach of protocols.
Ramjattan stated that the investigation extends to Ramsaroop and any violations which could have occurred. He maintained that the probe is not politically motivated and it is one of the reasons the expert was called in.
“It does not only include the Charrandas investigation but also includes an investigation as to how people like Peter Ramsaroop can find themselves on airside of the airport and if there are violations there…and what are the violations of conventions or laws and that is what we’re investigating,” Ramjattan noted.
He further stated, “There is nothing political about that. We do not want to see people who do not have the authority to be on airside, being on airside because it could be an unruly horse if strangers are allowed to be there. That is all part and parcel of getting some expert advice on matters dealing with airports and all of that”.
This contradicts events which unfolded just a few days ago, in which Ramsaroop was detained for more than eight hours by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in relation to the Charrandas probe.
Based on the type of questions he was being asked by investigators, Ramsaroop concluded that the activity was all “political”.
After the interrogation, he told Guyana Times that it was clear that investigators were attempting to “bully” and “intimidate” him, insisting that he can only be released after he gives a statement.
The PPP affiliate said he visited Police headquarters at about 08:30h in the presence of his Attorneys Mark Conway, Sanjeev Datadin and Sase Gunraj. He was asked about 10 “odd” questions, all of which he refused to answer.
“They started out with questions such as which political party I am affiliated with, what is my role in the political parties of Guyana. And then they went on to other questions in relation to the Canadians,” he outlined.
“From the beginning of the first question, which was ‘which political party I am affiliated with’, I realised that this is political harassment…to get me in there to intimidate me,” Ramsaroop added.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has since dismissed allegations which surfaced after Ramsaroop was seen in the company of Persaud, saying that the businessman is free to befriend whomever he wants to, even if it means someone from the opposite side of the house.
“Peter is free to be friends with Charrandas, and also a member of the PPP. Charrandas has lots of friends on our side and we have lots of friends on APNU’s side so there are lots of people who have friendships across the political spectrum… I’m not going to distance the party from people because they have friends among other races and among other parties. That’s what we’re trying to encourage, better relationships across politics,” the Opposition Leader stated.
Furthermore, Jagdeo asserted that categorically there were no inducements from the Opposition to sway the former Government MP’s vote. He also rubbished allegations by Attorney General Basil Williams that the PPP has conspired with five other parliamentarians on the coalition’s side.