Saturday, April 10, 2004

Gya: Jagdeo hears no evil

PNCR Leader Robert Corbin made three attempts to raise the death squad issue with President Bharrat Jagdeo, party MP Raphael Trotman said yesterday.

Speaking at the party's press conference, Trotman said this made the president's statement that Corbin failed to raise the issue with him "amazing". Jagdeo said at a press briefing last week Friday that Corbin failed to raise the issue with him save for a chance encounter and had he had an opportunity to meet Corbin on the issue, a possible solution could have been worked out.

However, Trotman said Corbin made three attempts to engage the government on the issue, as early as the first week of January 2004. He said at that time the PNCR spoke of the necessity for an impartial investigation into the allegations that Home Minister Ronald Gajraj was linked to a death squad. "On two of those three occasions, Mr Corbin spoke directly with President Jagdeo," Trotman said yesterday.

He said the matter was first formally raised with the government on Friday January 9, 2004, just prior to the swearing in of the Police Service Commission. Corbin spoke to Prime Minister Sam Hinds, who was performing the duties of President in Jagdeo's absence and Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon.

"Both men pleaded that only President Jagdeo could deal with the matter and that the issue would have to await his return. On the said day Mr Corbin refused to remain for the swearing-in ceremony of the Police Service Commission because of the presence of Gajraj and the PNCR's position was made public," Trotman said.

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