Jagdeo demands CoI into crime wave era
…says will uncover political authors behind gangs…urges extensive terms of referenceNot only is Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo open to a Commission of Inquiry into the crime spree that occurred under his presidency, he is in fact urging that Government launch the inquiry and uncover the political authors responsible.At a press conference on Saturday, Jagdeo called out Government on the question of the CoI, but he noted that if this CoI is to be launched, it must be with impartial and reputable adjudicators.Jagdeo also questioned the President’s delay in launching the CoI, considering that a number of other CoIs were ordered. He stressed that there were persistent reports of certain politicians visiting certain villages and orchestrating efforts to frustrate the work of the Joint Services.“You notice they have an approach to inquiries; they do not like… The CoI into sugar? They threw that away… The (CoI into assassination of) Walter Rodney? They didn’t like that because the findings were adverse. You want to bet if the findings for this one are adverse, then they will throw it away? So let’s have this CoI by all means, but let us have proper terms of reference and let us have credible commissioners, not the Paul Slowe type. Then you will see how politically inspired many of the killings were in that period,” Jagdeo posited.Intelligence reportsThe former President stressed that no criminal would receive political support from the PPP, a reference to a longstanding claim that certain politicians of the day had backed the criminals.He also noted that members of his former administration would be willing to assist the CoI with any specific information they may have.But Jagdeo expressed fears that intelligence reports from that period may have been tampered with by now.On Friday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon hinted that a CoI may be launched into extra- judicial killings that occurred during the period 2002 to 2008. Harmon posited that the Coroner’s Inquest Act requires an inquest be held for any unnatural death. Harmon noted that, at some point in time, relatives of the deceased have to get closure.When in Opposition, Granger had tabled a motion for an inquiry into killings during that era.As President, he is yet to order such an inquiry. According to Harmon, however, the President is still committed to probing these killings.