Commissioners sworn-in for probe into Walter Rodney killing

-over 100 to testify

Sir Richard Cheltenham, newly-appointed Chairman of the international Commission of Inquiry (CoI) established to probe the death of political activist Dr Walter Rodney, is hopeful of beginning work in a month’s time.

Sir Cheltenham, a Barbadian national, along with Jamaican Queen’s Counsel (QC) Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad and Tobago Senior Counsel (SC) Senath Jairam took the Oath of Office before President Donald Ramotar during a simple ceremony at the Office of the President today.

Dr Rodney, a renowned academic and political activist, died in a car near John and Bent streets on June 13, 1980, after a walkie-talkie, given to him by now deceased Guyana Defence Force member Gregory Smith, exploded. The People’s National Congress (PNC) administration, then headed by late president Linden Forbes Burnham, whose governance practices had been opposed by Rodney, has long been blamed for the murder. The party, however, has continuously denied any responsibility.

Dr Walter Rodney
Dr Walter Rodney

Noticeably absent at the swearing-in ceremony were members of the Working People’s Alliance, of which Dr. Rodney was a co-leader at the time of his death.

Sir Cheltenham, who was knighted in 2005 and is also a QC and the holder of a Ph.D, sought assuage skepticism about usefulness of the CoI in light of the passage of time since Rodney’s death.

“The fact that it happened 30 years or so ago need not be any bar to a full exposure of what took place and for the commission to make some firm conclusions,” he said. He added that he had been advised that there will be over 100 persons testifying.

He added that there are many potential witnesses who did not want to give statements until the commission had been established. With the commission now set up, he said these persons would be ready to come forward to give their statements.

Samuels-Brown, is the attorney for the Office of the Contractor General, an anti-corruption agency. She represents both private citizens and those in public offices.

Jairam, a Guyanese by birth, is engaged in private practice in Trinidad and Tobago, where he is the current president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He was also a former High Court judge.

In June last year, to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of Rodney’s death, the PPP/C administration announced the decision to set up the international CoI, finally yielding to calls made during its over two decades in office.

 

More in Local News, News

default placeholder

Gov’t will not be ‘lectured to in the press’ on forest concessions, Trotman says

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman yesterday said that the government will not be “lectured” to in the press on the issue of forestry concessions, while announcing that the arrival of officials from a company in China that may take over the operations of the controversial Baishanlin is being awaited.

default placeholder

Black Bush triple murder suspects brought to city

Seven men, including the main suspect who was arrested in connection with the Black Bush Polder, Corentyne triple murder were transported to Georgetown on Tuesday evening and are currently being questioned by ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID), Major Crimes Unit.

Anthony Jhagroo

Bulletin issued for suspect in murder of mechanic

The police yesterday issued a  bulletin for Anthony Jhagroo, who is wanted for questioning in relation to two offences: escaping from lawful custody and the murder of mechanic, Yugeshwar Shiwcharan.

default placeholder

Five cops under close arrest over stolen gold

Five police officers attached to the Brickdam Police Station are currently under close arrest after they allegedly stole a quantity of raw gold from some miners last Friday.

default placeholder

Norway team ‘horrified’ at bauxite mining in pilot village Muritaro

A private bauxite mining operation in the Amerindian community of Muritaro on the Demerara River, discovered by members of a “horrified” team from Norway, was shut down by the Ministry of Natural Resources late last year, since the community was one identified to benefit from the Guyana-Norway forest protection scheme.

default placeholder

New candidate identified to head Bid Protest Committee

Attorney at Law Joann Bond will now head the recently-constituted Bid Protest Committee (BPC) established under the Procurement Act, well-placed sources say.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: