Blanhum was influenced by Top Cop during assassination probe-Ramnarine

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Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine has suggested that the investigation into the assassination plot against the president was not done properly and as such he now doubts the judgement of the Crime Chief.
He today told the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged assassination plot that Blanhum misled him during the early stages of the investigation when he released Imran Khan (the brother of the businessman who reportedly attempted to recruit an assassin) from custody.

When asked why he did it or on whose instructions, Ramnarine said he was told by Blanhum that he (Blanhum) made the decision. Ramnarine said that he was alarmed but did not seek to question the judgement because at that time it was public knowledge that Blanhum was known to exercise good judgement and that was evident in his work and his leadership of the Criminal Investigations Department.

It was not until a few weeks after that Ramnarine said he became aware that Blanhum released Khan on the instruction of the substantive Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud, who was on leave at the time. According to Ramnarine, he also later learnt at a National Security Meeting that senior officers within the force were involved in the investigations from the very start.

Ramnarine recalled once where he requested the file in the matter when again he was performing the functions of Commissioner of Police and the file came but certain documents were not included. Having been aware of what he knew should have been in the file, Ramnarine made a specific request for that document and it was then that it was supplied to him by the Deputy Crime Chief who was filling in for Blanhum on that occasion.

The CoI Commissioner, Mr Paul Slowe, asked Ramnarine if he would have released Imran Khan had he known of the move before it was done and he responded in the negative. When he was asked why he would not have released the man, he stressed that the Police would have in the past detained people for 72 hours for a lesser offence or allegation and in this case it was an allegation of a plot to assassinate the Head of the State.

The Commission will sit again on Monday and on that day Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud is expected to take the stand.

After listening to the testimony of Ramnarine, former Chief Justice Ian Chang, who is representing the interests of the Guyana Police Force, told the Commission that he was now placed in a difficult situation.
The Commission subsequently noted that Commissioner Persaud is likely to be represented by a lawyer for his testimony. (Leroy Smith)

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