Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Confirmation: Corbin did get death threats

Opposition Leader Robert Corbin yesterday confirmed that he has received death threats and reports have been made to the highest level of the Guyana Police Force.

Reports had circulated of the threats at the weekend but when contacted on Monday, Corbin told Stabroek News that he had no comment. However, when faced with the question again yesterday following a brief rally at the John Ford car park, East Street, after the PNCR’s ‘cost of living’ march, Corbin said he received the death threat via a telephone call on Thursday. He said he had made a report to the police and he was giving them time to investigate.

Asked about the details of the threat, Corbin said the male caller said, “If you don’t stop talking about Roger Khan, we gon kill you.”

He said too the number from which the call was made was visible and he had since given it to the police. The day before he received the call, Corbin said he hosted the “Nation Watch” television programme where the topics of the death squad and the possible involvement of US drug-accused Roger Khan were discussed. He said he also talked about the need for proper inquests to be conducted; clearing the air on many issues.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that the police had made an arrest based on initial investigations and that a suspect had been questioned and released on station bail. As regard the arrest, Corbin said he had learnt that a suspect had been held but had no further comment on the matter. However, he also said threats had been made during his rally and that he would not be silenced on the issue since there are many unanswered questions.

Corbin and the PNCR have, over the last few weeks, been very vocal following revelations in US courts where Khan is facing charges such as conspiracy to import cocaine into that country. The defence has come up with information linking Khan to a gang which allegedly was responsible for committing a number of murders after the 2001 jail break. Since then the PNCR has been calling on government to ‘come clean’ about its knowledge of Khan and his activities.

The party contends that government “could not have been unaware of his extensive narco-related activities.”

At a press conference last week, party executive Lance Carberry noted that it had been said that “the organization headed by Roger Khan had not only exported cocaine to that country but was responsible for the deaths of over 200 individuals.”

It said it was as a result of these findings that Corbin reiterated a call for an independent inquiry into “the death squads in Guyana.” Carberry said the PPP’s response has been to deny all knowledge of Khan and his activities. The party’s statement also said that when Khan was arrested in Suriname in 2006, that country’s Minister of Justice and Police Chandrika Persad Santokhi had disclosed that the Surinamese government had exchanged information with the Guyana government about Khan.

Carberry also quoted Khan’s statement prior to his arrest and detention by the US government that he had worked closely with police and provided them with assistance at his own expense during the crime spree in 2002. Carberry then said that any person would query how it was possible for an individual to carry out major activities with a country’s police force without the knowledge of the government. He recalled that when Khan was arrested at Good Hope in 2002, one of the men arrested with him was a serving policeman and the computer in Khan’s possession at the time was one which could only be purchased by a government.

“The evidence is clear that, not only did the Jagdeo administration know of Roger Khan but also aided and abetted his nefarious activities,” the statement said.

Other members of the parliamentary opposition have since joined the call for government to explain any involvement with Khan.

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