Imran Khan, brother of the man accused of offering his neighbour million to assassinate President David Granger, has told the Commission of Inquiry that, for the more-than-10-years since knowing Commissioner Seelall Persaud, he has never asked him for any favours, and as such had made no request to have his bail reduced.
Khan testified that on March 29, between 16:00 h to 17:00h, he received a call from his brother Nizam Khan, informing him that there was a party of Police Officers requesting to search his premises without a warrant, and attempting to arrest him. He said he immediately contacted his decades-old friend, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, and informed him of the situation, and was told to advise his brother to cooperate with the officers.
Imran Khan said he was later informed that Nizam Khan was taken to the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) Headquarters at Eve Leary, and he went there to ensure his brother was okay. He added that, upon arrival, he was heading up the stairs when he met his brother’s accuser, Andrif Gillard, who threatened his life.
Imran Khan said he tried to lodge a complaint with the officers, but was given what he described as the “royal runaround”. He told the Commission that he began protesting in a ‘disciplined’ manner, requesting that officers take his complaint, but to no avail, and he attempted to contact Commissioner Persaud, but was unsuccessful.
“After they pushing me around, I started to raise my voice, and I told them that I am recording (their behaviour) and that I will go to OPR and make a complaint. I was loud, and they arrested me and started to assault me,” he related.
He related that Corporal Keon Benjamin hit him to the chest, and was addressing him with indecent language. He said he immediately began experiencing chest pains, and was later given a medical certificate to seek treatment. He is yet to submit the completed certificate to the Police.
“They took away my phone and ask me to hand over my firearm, and Benjamin deleted the recording…I continued to protest loudly,” Imran told the CoI.
The goldminer related that while in custody his phone rang, and Commissioner Persaud was on the other end of the line. He said the phone was given to him and he then related that he was arrested and placed on $10,000 bail, but had no cash in his possession.
Imran said he was granted bail approximately 45 minutes after the conversation with Persaud ended. However, he maintained that he never asked his friend to reduce his bail, and he never made any request for favours.
Imran Khan related that he is a well-versed businessman who dabbles in gold mining, real estate, and vehicle spare parts, and he accordingly has to constantly be on the alert. He is licensed to carry three firearms – a .45 calibre pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .223 semi-automatic rifle.
He told the Commission that he first acquired a firearm in the early 1990s, and was granted an upgrade from a 9mm to a .45 when Persaud became Commissioner. He described his rifle as a 21-inch Olympia that hosts a 30-round magazine and is semiautomatic.
He told CoI Commissioner Paul Slowe that his brother never saw either of his firearms, nor does he know he is licensed to carry a rifle.
Imran Khan said his friendship with Persaud is one that is intelligence-based, as he would share information with the Police about known criminal elements and activities within the Diamond/Grove area. He said he would often attend functions hosted by the Guyana Police Force, and would ask his brother Nizam to help with minor repairs to Police patrol vehicles as a goodwill to the Force.
The businessman said he has known Gillard for approximately 12 years, the past three or four of which they have been attending the same mosque. He related that Gillard would have approached him to borrow money, but he never loaned him.
Gillard, who first reported the matter to the police, said Nizam had offered him $7 million to kill President David Granger, and had shown him a “long black gun” which he allegedly intended to be the weapon to carry out the act.