Ramjattan admits to directing Top Cop in probe against Charrandas Persaud
Alliance For Change (AFC) Chairman and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan admitted on Wednesday that he initiated the ongoing probe against the party’s expelled Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud, whose vote in support of the Opposition’s no-confidence motion toppled the coalition Administration.
Speaking at a press briefing at the AFC’s head office in Kitty, Georgetown, Ramjattan said that he caused an investigation to be launched after he received “certain” information concerning Persaud.
“The personal involvement; yes, I got a call from Vice President Sydney Allicock indicating that there is someone that wants to give some information about Charrandas and his conduct, and indeed I then put the Commissioner of Police after speaking to Sydney Allicock. As a minister of security, if some information does come and it’s information you feel can go somewhere … he indicated to me certain things and I said Mr Commissioner, you better make a check on what’s happening and that’s it,” he said.
Ramjattan further revealed that the preliminary assessment done by the AFC had shown that the former MP did not vote his conscience as was claimed.
“The assessment is also, apart from Police investigations, is indicating that it could not have been a conscience vote … even the day when we [debated] the no-confidence [motion]; after we adjourned to have meals, he [Persaud] came to me and said ‘Khemraj, you did a wonderful speech, you proper knock them down heavy’, but it’s definitely blinded us,” the Minister pointed out.
According to the Public Security Minister, Police Commissioner Leslie James is expected to pronounce on the probe sometime next week. It was only last week that James told reporters that a probe against the former MP, who is in Canada, is ongoing and he would only add that it was a matter of national security. Charrandas’s vote which gave the Opposition a 33 majority against Government is at the centre of multiple cases at the High Court which will be ruled upon by month-end by acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC.
Guyana Times reported on Tuesday the Judge rejected Government’s attempts to extend its time in office on the grounds of the ongoing no-confidence vote case as the court informed that the matters would all be expedited owing to their national significance. Both sides were given until January 18 to exchange legal submissions; January 21 for rebuttal submissions and in the case of Christopher Ram vs the Attorney General and the Speaker of the National Assembly, submissions will be heard on January 23.
Oral submissions for Compton Reid vs the Attorney General, former MP Charrandas Persaud and the Speaker of the National Assembly will be heard on January 24 and for the case of the Attorney General vs the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Opposition Leader, oral submissions will be done on January 25. Following the passage of the no-confidence vote, elections are to be held in 90 days in keeping with the Constitution.