Monday, September 08, 2008

Not police decision not to charge Ghilhuys for cop shooting

I refer to an editorial in the Stabroek News dated Monday September 08, 2008 and several other letters written about the matter of Magistrate G. Gilhuys. The force though constrained has of necessity to respond to the public concerns about its role.

The Stabroek News stated that Commissioner Greene’s explanation that where cases revolve around policemen they prefer another opinion is completely invalid and unconvincing considering that in less clear cut cases involving the police, charges have been preferred without reference to the DPP. This dogmatic statement by the Stabroek News is another attempt to besmirch the image of the Guyana Police Force. This is coupled with subsequent statements that the Force avoids taking tricky decisions by sending the file to the DPP Chambers.

This is another spurious statement. The office of the DPP was established to provide legal advice to the Police Commissioner and that advice is constantly sought. The Force wishes to challenge the Stabroek News to provide one instance of “less clear-cut cases” involving police charges which have been preferred without reference to the DPP. If the Stabroek News cannot so do it should withdraw these remarks.

To deal with more legitimate concerns, the Force has been dogged by concerns over the “deficient statements”, as stated by the DPP.

On July 04, 2008, the DPP requested the Police to do further investigations into the issues now captioned under these words “deficient statements”. The investigators made every effort to clear up the issues as far as possible. Note that Cpl. George unto then had not been found fit enough to provide a statement.

A statement was procured on advice of his attending physician on July 16 and the file was returned to the DPP on July 28.

In relation to the issues to be clarified, one Doctor stated that he could not determine what calibre of firearm was used from the injuries or which were the entry and exit wounds. The surgeon who operated on Cpl. George recovered no warhead nor could he determine entry and exit wound. Clearly, no deficiency lay with the Police statements. Perhaps the DPP meant that the statements did not provide sufficient evidence in her opinion to prefer a charge.

The Police ranks were wearing regulation uniform, i.e. dark blue, (anti-crime) and brown and black special constabulary. Cpl. George wore a helmet marked “POLICE”.

The Force administration ascribed no issues to the area where the ranks were found as there are no specific routes to travel on return to base. Ranks may act based on and/or observation and information as it relates to patrol.

It is hoped that these comments put to rest concerns of any complicity where the Force’s administration is concerned. The firearm used by Magistrate Gilhuys is a police firearm loaned and licenced to him by a former Police Commissioner. However, the licence was not in force for 2008.

The Police received the file from the DPP on August 28 with advice of no charges. The subsequent statement by Cpl. George requesting no criminal proceedings was not sent to the DPP by the Guyana Police Force.

Mr. John Sauers

Deputy Superintendent

Press Relations & Press Officers (ag)

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