Rohee for Linden COI on Wednesday
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee will appear before the Commission probing the July 18 shooting at Linden which resulted in the death of three protestors.
This was announced by Chairman of the Commissioner, Lensley Wolfe, at today’s hearing. “The Minister of Home Affairs, in response to our letter, has advised that he would be coming until Wednesday at 10 [am],” Wolfe said.
APNU attorney Basil Williams last week pressed for the appearance of Rohee before the commission, saying his evidence could greatly assist its work.
“The minister is the only one who can tell you how he executed policy decisions… He has to tell you about calls to police officers that the records showed that day. There is no way that the minister cannot come because we have questions for the minister in terms of the effective functioning of our police force,” Williams told members of the Commission of Inquiry.
Williams reminded the commissioners of their terms of reference, especially two that can be achieved specifically through the minister’s evidence.
“We expect in accordance with the terms of reference that the minister will be here to testify… He would be instrumental in assisting you in making a determination and recommendation for a more effective, functioning police force,” Williams stated.
Attorney Hukumchand, who is representing the Guyana Police Force, opposed the call for the minister, opining that such an application should have been made at the beginning of the enquiry. However, Commissioner KD Knight intervened and pointed out that it was a matter of his assessment of how the inquiry should be run. “You were here at the commencement and at that time you were remarkably silent,” Knight added.
Commissioner Dana Seetahal had also sought clarification, inquiring whether it is the belief of Williams that the Home Affairs Minister is essential. “You’re saying that with relation to the terms of reference, the minister is necessary… specifically what, if any, specific instructions did the Minister of Home Affairs give to the Guyana Police Force to maintain order in Linden immediately before, during and immediately after the events of July 18, 2012?” she queried.
Williams pointed out that without Rohee, the commission would not be made aware of the specific directions.