Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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Gajraj Matter
(Aired 10 February 2004)

     Over the past few weeks many people have asked me if I was not going to do a commentary on the Gajraj matter, my position was that to do a credible analysis of the matter one would have to have all the facts and not base one's conclusions on mere speculation. The grave charges made against Gajraj could only be investigated by a completely independent body of men and women who would have to be protected at all times before during and especially after the investigation since if these accusations are true they would be dealing with one of the most heinous situations in the history of the English speaking Caribbean, we are talking about the possibility of mass killings of over 300 people here. 

    I am doing this commentary because my newscast along with the Stabroek News and the Prime News have been accused by the President of this country, himself, as trying to destabilise his government. 

    Now ladies and gentlemen this is tantamount to accusing us of treason. Does Mr. Jagdeo want to put Tony Vieira, David De Caires and Adam Harris behind bars for treason on trumped up charges as he did in the case of Mark Benchop. At the very least he has endangered our lives, since there are ignorant people in this country who are benefiting from the corruption of this Government who may decide to do us harm. And this is unacceptable to me.

   So let's examine what Mr. Jagdeo said at Annerdale on Sunday 25th January 2003 and which was published in the newspapers on Monday and Tuesday 26-27 February 2004, He said that anyone who can produce any evidence on the phantom gangs should give that information to the police who will investigate the matter, he also said that there is no credible evidence that what Bacchus told the public was true.

   Before I go further let's examine these two statements on August 8th 2002 one Axel Williams shot and killed a food vendor named Rodwell Ogle, the shooting of Ogle was done in cold blood in front of several witnesses in broad daylight, on September 12th 2002 the Director of Public Prosecutions recommended that Williams be charged with this murder; but he never was, it is now being peddled on the public that the DPP's recommendations were subsequently modified from charging Williams for murder, to a recommendation of conducting a coroner's inquest into the matter, but no one at the DPP's office can find this change of recommendation from a charge of Murder, to having a coroner's inquest.

    The fact is however that since September 2002 neither was done, indicating clearly that Williams was getting some heavy duty protection from the police and from Minister Gajraj. I have in my possession a letter from the then commissioner of Police F. Mc. Donald dated July 18th 2003 reference no. 91A/209/2002 telling Williams that his firearm has been upgraded to a 9 MM calibre handgun from a .32 calibre handgun, this man who had allegedly committed a cold blooded murder was given license to own a bigger gun so that he can kill more people, Who was Williams? What was he functioning as, to place him above the law? allowing him to commit a cold blooded and callus murder and for more than a year until Williams himself was killed, no one did anything and he continued to be associated with Gajraj as telephone records have now disclosed.  Over and over again I have told you that the police force have been systematically stripped of their statutory powers and that the politicians make decisions for them, the issuing gun licenses is one example, no Commissioner or Divisional Commander can issue a gun license without Ministerial approval, even though they have the statutory power to do so, it is common knowledge in this country that for 200,000 dollars anyone can get a gun license but you would have to grease the right palms and it is not the police who are the beneficiaries of these bribes, the question therefore is, who armed Axel Williams? And why?

   So Mr. Jagdeo's first recommendation that information in the Bacchus matter be given to the police who will investigate it, is utter nonsense. Any person lodging such information with the police would immediately put himself/herself in grave danger of assignation by the death squads. And there would be no investigation just as there was no investigation or action in the Ogle matter.

   Mr. Jagdeo's second statement was that "no credible evidence existed which warranted an investigation into the accusations made against his Minister of Home Affairs" unfortunately for Mr. Jagdeo two days after uttering this statement, the Canadian high Commission revoked Mr Gajraj's Visa and a few days later so did the US embassy on instruction of the US state department.

   No country with which we have diplomatic relations would do such a thing unless they were convinced that what Bacchus told them was credible making Mr. Jagdeo's second statement also utter nonsense.

   The police cannot investigate this matter impartially or fairly and they should do the right thing and refuse to do it, if there is one high ranking member of the force who has the testicular apparatus to stand up and tell the public that their hands are tied in the matter and they are under strict political control, I would feel better, they tell us privately what the situation is, but they are allowing themselves to be castigated by the media and the public since they have been rendered powerless to speak for themselves, no job, especially one with such a low paying salary, is worth giving up your integrity to keep.

   So if the police cannot investigate the matter impartially since their hands are tied and Gajraj will not step down, who will conduct this investigation? certainly not the police or the DPP, this country has now been embarrassed by two of the most powerful allies we have, Canada and the US revoking and not renewing visas for two Ministers of our government, Amnesty International has also called for an investigation into these death squads and it is an insult to our intelligence for Mr. Jagdeo to be telling us that no credible evidence exists that something is wrong, when members of his own government are being treated with utter contempt by the International Community, to the embarrassment of this nation.   

   When that terrified man Bacchus visited the Evening News [two days before he went to the US Embassy] and spoke to us he indicated that he had knowledge of people listed for elimination and that Dr. Luncheon himself was on that list.

   I am therefore of the opinion that it is impossible for this matter to be investigated by any Guyanese, if Canada, the US, the Human Rights groups and Amnesty International are so concerned, they should put pressure on the Government to allow them to mount their own independent inquiry, in which anyone giving information will be guaranteed protection and all information given will be held in the strictest confidence for the protection of the informant. That is the only solution that will satisfy me or any other right thinking Guyanese.