Newly appointed United States Ambassador, Sarah-Ann Lynch, said her country is committed to helping Guyana realise its full potential, especially with the impending oil and gas industry.
During a welcome reception at her residence on Friday evening, Ambassador Lynch noted that it is clear that all of Guyana wants to be part of the tremendous opportunities that await the country in the near future.
“We all have a lot of important work to do – each in our own way – and, I want you to know that the United States will work hard to continue to be a key partner of Guyana’s to help it realise its potential both in Guyana and the region – our collective neighbourhood,” she stated.
To this end, the US Diplomat told stakeholders gathered at the reception that she will continue to work to ensure Guyana’s development.
“We will continue to partner with the Government and all relevant actors on the prosperity front – to help this country create an enabling environment where trade and investment will abound and the country and all of its citizens will thrive,” she posited.
Moreover, Ambassador Lynch further pledged her country’s continued support to Guyana, especially in the security sector, which can see favourable results through collaboration. In fact, she noted that the recent extradition of US fugitive, Troy Thomas, is evidence of this.
“We will continue to partner with Guyana on the important security front. This past week US and Guyanese security collaboration made history as we worked together on the highly successful extradition of the alleged murderer; the first extradition in well over a decade. We will continue to partner on the governance front to adhere to the rule of law and to strengthen institutions, both governmental and non-governmental to become more transparent and accountable,” the US envoy said.
Thomas fled to Guyana after allegedly murdering Keith Frank, 20, a Guyanese who was shot and killed on December 11, 2011, at Richmond Hill, New York. He has also been accused of inflicting injuries upon Dr Katherine Maloney.
Since 2012, authorities in the US had issued a wanted bulletin for the murder suspect. As such, in 2018, US Attorney General and Secretary of State sent an extradition request to the Guyana Government, which was served to the Foreign Affairs Ministry by the country’s Embassy here.
As a result of the request, Thomas was apprehended by the Guyana Police Force last year and was kept in custody at the Lusignan Prison. In committing Thomas for extradition, a Georgetown Magistrate, among other things, ruled that she believed the fugitive was Troy Thomas, although he insisted that his name was Marvin Williams.
However, Thomas moved to the High Court to further block his extradition. He challenged, among other things, his “illegal” confinement and argued in an affidavit that he is being unlawfully detained and subjected to legal processes unsupported by any legal basis or foundation.
Thomas applied to the court for leave to issue a writ of habeas corpus, directing the Commissioner of Police to show cause why he should not be immediately released.
However, High Court Judge, Justice Navindra Singh dismissed the application by the prisoner. He ruled on April 4, 2019, that there is sufficient evidence against Thomas to warrant his extradition to the US. In addition, Thomas was ordered to pay $450,000 in court costs.
The extradition took effect on Wednesday after Thomas did not appeal the High Court ruling.
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan explained to Guyana Times that because there was no appeal within the stipulated timeframe, he gave the order for the US fugitive to be handed over to authorities there.
After being taken back to the US, Thomas was charged with second degree murder on Thursday in a US Court.