PPP welcomes inquest into assassination of Satyadeo Sawh

Jagdeo says Police knew the killers

Both Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and People’s Progressive Party General Secretary Clement Rohee welcome President David Granger’s commitment to establish a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the 2006 assassination of then Agriculture Minister Satyadeo “Sash” Sawh.

Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud
Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud
Former Agriculture Minister Satyadeo “Sash” Sawh
Former Agriculture Minister Satyadeo “Sash” Sawh

On April 22, 2006, Sawh, his sister Phulmattie Persaud, his brother Rajpat Rai Sawh and security guard Curtis Robertson were killed by heavily armed men who invaded his La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara home.
Jagdeo, who was Head of State at the time, had committed to seeking external assistance to aid in the investigation; however, this never materialised.
When questioned by media operatives on Wednesday, Jagdeo admitted that he had little recollection of how the matter panned out.
“I don’t recall all the details but no, we did not get all the help we wanted and the Police told me that they knew who the killers were and they do have statements from a few people and I hope those statements have not disappeared…,” the former Head of State said.
Jagdeo added that he has “no problem” with the inquest, however the Police should present all the information they had gathered during their investigation.
Just last week, the Opposition Party’s General Secretary had also supported the decision to launch an inquest. “Oh, we welcome it. They’re in Government now, they’re free to open any investigation or set up any Board of Inquiry (BoI) or any Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigation any matter…,” Rohee stated.
During his weekly podcast, ‘The Public Interest’, President Granger disclosed that a blood relative had approached him and appealed for an inquiry into Sawh’s murder.
He noted that a Commission of Inquiry will be launched in due course, as a part of a bigger investigation into a series of extrajudicial killings that plagued the nation.
In September last, Granger disclosed that moves were already afoot to ensure the requisite framework was in place to begin these investigations in the extrajudicial killings.
“We are looking at that right now to ensure that once we get going, every death that is reported we get to investigate,” he had stated.
Later, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had revealed that Government may even reopen cold cases.
Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, during an interview with Guyana Times in September last, had confirmed that a Cold Case Unit would be established, sometime this year.
But while Government is bent on launching inquiries into several deaths as far back as the 2000, the PPP/C parliamentary Opposition had raised concerns about the time period earmarked for investigations.
Jagdeo had accused the Government of being selective, for its own reasons.
Former President Donald Ramotar, in an invited comment in September, had also indicated that the investigations should not stop at the year 2000.
“If the Government is serious about this probe, they must go as far back as the 1970s and they must probe all of the high-profile and ordinary extrajudicial killings,” he stated
Reports indicate that if the time period is pended, the Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall, who was implicated in one of the high-profile murder cases in the 1990s, could find himself facing the courts in relation to the death of Kerry France.
Also, an investigation could be launched into the death of Monica Reece if the probe’s timeframe is widened.
Reece, who was a 19-year-old security guard, became known to all Guyanese after her body was dumped from a speeding pickup in the vicinity of the Geddes Grant building (now Courts) on Main Street, Georgetown on April 9, 1993.
More than a decade after the incident, the crime remains unsolved.