-plotters contacted, DPP advice sought
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the police legal advisor are assisting with investigations into an alleged plot to shoot President David Granger while he is on one of his many outreaches.
Minster of State, Joseph Harmon, at a post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday morning at the Ministry of Presidency, disclosed that the administration has been provided with some information by the police about an ongoing investigation of this nature. The investigation has reached a point where advice of the police legal advisor is also being sought, Harmon said.
Harmon made the disclosure when asked about the alleged plot by a reporter. “While we have a popular President that all the people around the country love and embrace him, there are sometimes misguided people, especially of what they see on facebook and copycat type of issues and therefore we always have to be careful,” Harmon said.
He explained that since the investigation is ongoing he is not at liberty to disclose in any great detail the nature of the inquiry. “I have the full confidence of the ability of the security forces to protect our President and the ministers of Government who have been elected by the people to run the Government,” Harmon noted. When asked if names of high-ranking policemen were listed as being involved, Harmon said he was not briefed about such information.
Meanwhile, in an interview on Nightly News a man who was approached to carry out the act spoke of a $7M bounty that was offered him to shoot at President Granger during one of his outreaches. The $7M it was said was offered by a prominent individual. The whistleblower in the interview stated that the businessman told him “… President Granger, we have to have him assassinated before he moves from where he is living, before of course if he moves his security will enhance and you can’t get to him.”
He further related that the businessman told him, “you know we and the commissioner is friends, the whole judiciary is friends, we will take care of you, all you have to do is don’t let who you know get it done to know who is we, and we ain’t want know who you get.”
The informant explained that the businessman entered his house and brought out a large weapon which he collected and minutes later returned. He explained he had approached the businessman to conduct a business worth $6M when the proposal was made to find someone to assassinate the President and he will be paid $7M. “The next day I go back to he and said watch, me ain’t deh in them thing yo know, me aint event want you tell me back about that,” the informant said claiming that he never killed anyone before and is just a businessman.
New security features
Only last week Harmon defended the new concrete fence securing the Ministry of the Presidency (MoP), emphasising that it must be consistent with security features of a high office such as one of the President. The previous chain-link fence has been dismantled for a more than 12-foot high concrete wall that also provides now, for very little view into the premises. Harmon then had told reporters that the MoTP has to be a safe zone. “We have to ensure that, whatever physical facilities that we put in place, can guarantee the physical security of this premises and the physical security of the persons who enter and leave this premises.”
He pointed to the 2002 shooting that left two persons dead after they had stormed the then Office of the President (OP). Persons were protesting against the then People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government’s treatment of the people of Kwakwani and other Berbice bauxite mining areas when they barged into the presidential compound and were shot by guards.
“We have to put in place security arrangements that will prevent us from using maximum force as was done in the previous administration,” Harmon said, adding: “It is important for us to ensure that we have proper facilities. This is the office of his Excellency the President…we have to ensure that all of the security arrangements that are put in place are consistent with that high office which the president holds, and the fact that it is located here.”
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was Guyana’s President at the time the protesters were shot. He had recently ridiculed the new security feature, calling it the “Great Wall of China”. “The Opposition Leader is entitled to give his opinion on several matters which he expresses very easily these days,” said Harmon.