Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) pilot Gerry Gouveia this morning said that after seeing a photograph of Gregory Smith in the newspapers he suspected that he was the man he had transported to Kwakwani a day after Dr. Walter Rodney was killed in a bomb blast, but according to him he never probed the issue.
Gouveia told the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry that he recalled that when he turned up for duties as a GDF pilot at Timehri on June 14, 1980, he was given instructions to transport some persons to Kwakwani. He later found a man, woman and some children waiting in the aircraft hangar.
He said that he left Timehri at 9:08 am and arrived at his destination at 9:57 am. He said he spent about three minutes on the ground before disembarking. He maintained that he did not know the identities of his passengers nor did he see who collected them. He said too that he cannot recall the identities of the operation staff members who had instructed him to transport the passengers.
Video – Part 1
He said that during the flight he had no conversations with his passengers and insisted that if he saw his passengers today, he would not be able to recognize them.
Gouveia told the commission that after seeing the photograph that resembled the male he transported, he did not seek to question or investigate on his own, if that man was indeed Smith, as he was a junior officer who was just following instructions. He said that he did not check the passengers’ manifest to see if that name was on it.
Video – Part 2
Gouveia’s testimony lends further credence to longstanding views that the GDF was complicit in removing Smith from Guyana after his involvement in Rodney’s death. It has been contended that such involvement by the GDF would have had to have been at the behest and full involvement of then senior PNC government officials.
Video – Part 3
Video – Part 4