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Acting Top Cop denies misleading President on assassination plot

David Ramnarine, DSM

Georgetown: “I did not mislead the President,” Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine told the Commission of Inquiry into how well the Guyana Police Force had probed the March 29, 2017 report by Andriff Guillard that in June, 2015 another businessman, Nizam Khan, had allegedly offered him GYD$7 million to kill the President.

Ramnarine on Friday denied that he misled President David Granger about the status of a probe into an alleged assassination plot, and said he had been told that of only one statement just before briefing the Guyanese leader.

The Commission of Inquiry (COI) is being conducted by Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Slowe.

Under cross-examination by Attorney-at-Law, Glen Hanoman, Ramnarine said it was a quite outrageous suggestion by the lawyer that he gave the President false information based on one statement instead of three statements.

“I have evidence before me that statements had been taken from three different persons by the time you went to meet the President,” said Hanoman, a well-known criminal lawyer. He added that statements were taken from Guillard, Nizam Khan and Stephen Persaud.

Ramnarine said it was reckless for him to have briefed the President on the probe without knowing all the details.

Ramnarine, who has already admitted to the Commission of Inquiry that he was not trained as a detective, said he did not give the Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum any specific instructions but urged him to spare no effort to oversee the investigation and immediately probe Guillard’s report because it involved the Head of State.

“I did not tell him to do that. That was implied in the conversation we had,” he said. He added that it was not a matter of doubt but the very serious nature of the investigation that required him to remind or emphasise that to Blanhum that the requisite attention be paid.

Ramnarine said he had no idea that the requisite attention was not being paid to the probe but there was a duty to ensure that it was said, repeated.

Acknowledging that the initial stage of an investigation is most important, he later said based on certain actions his instructions were largely disregarded. That appeared to be a reference to substantive Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud’s role in releasing Nizam Khan and Imran Khan from custody. Imran Khan, who was held for disorderly conduct at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters, is a friend of Persaud, but he said he scarcely knows Nizam.

Ramnarine said he agree that the police probe was lethargic and he could not defend the Guyana Police Force, although he dd not have all of the information at his disposal. He said he had some idea of the investigations that were being conducted.

“I don’t have to know everything that is going on,” he said.

He explained that he went to brief the President based on developments on March 29 including Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum’s oral briefing by cell phone on March 30.

The Acting Police Commissioner rejected assertions that he was willing to pander politically although he did not have all the facts.

Inquiry Commissioner Slowe again blocked Attorney-at-Law Hanoman from questioning the Acting Police Commissioner about his ties to Saddiqui ‘Bobby” Rasul who has since been charged with an almost GYD$1 billion fraud allegedly committed against a commercial bank. Hanoman said he wanted to pursue that line of questioning to show that there was “malice” by Ramnarine against the substantive Police Commissioner and the Crime Chief because they had raised concerns about certain actions that he (Ramnarine) had taken while he had previously acted as top cop.