GDF insists Sgt Pyle was on legitimate operation
AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan
AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

THE Guyana Defence Force said on Tuesday that the late Sergeant Robert Pyle, a member of its Intelligence Unit, had been deployed on a legitimate operation in support of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) when he and his wife met their deaths last week Wednesday in a horrific accident on Carifesta Avenue.“It is normal for the Guyana Defence Force to support the law enforcement and regulatory agencies of Guyana in operational activities, especially at this time, as part of OPERATION DRAGNET,” the GDF said in a statement. “Defence Headquarters once again takes this opportunity to offer condolences to the families of Sergeant Robert Pyle, Mrs Stacy Pyle and Mr Linden Eastman, who all lost their lives in the vehicular accident of last Wednesday evening.”

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has said in correspondence that it is saddened by the deaths of the Pyles and Eastman, but is also alarmed by media reports in regard to the circumstances leading up to the accident. These media reports have alleged that the soldier had been engaged in a surveillance operation targeted at civilians; and further, that he had been engaged in a high-speed deadly car chase through the streets of Georgetown, chasing a vehicle which he believed contained the teenage daughter of Winston Brassington, the PSC has said.

Since these media reports have not been refuted by the relevant authorities, the PSC has said, it calls upon the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police to bring clarity on whether the allegations in the media are true, and whether this was an authorised assignment carried out on behalf of either of these agencies.

“This matter has caused immense apprehension in the business community, and we believe that answers are needed, not only by us, but by the larger society,” the PSC statement added.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Monday debunked claims by General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee, that the security forces were being used for political work. He is insisting that investigations into alleged wrongdoing by Brassington will continue.

Police have launched a criminal investigation into the operations of NICIL following recommendations by a commissioned audit. Minister Ramjattan told the Guyana Chronicle: “Pyle was part and parcel of the investigation, and was doing his legitimate function….”

He said that units such as the SOCU, of which Pyle was a part, will go after those whom they suspect of wrongdoing. The PPP believes the Government might be using members of the security services for political proposes, but Minister Ramjattan asserts that senior officers who might have given Pyle that assignment are not to be blamed, neither can (the operation) be classed as political.

“Nevertheless,” Minister Ramjattan said, “we will proceed and prosecute, because we are doing our jobs by ensuring that persons who have breached the law, whether Government official or any other citizen, are penalized.”


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