Soldiers privately ‘interviewed’ by Lindo Creek COI
Several members of the high-profile Joint Services squad that was deployed to Lindo Creek area ten years ago in pursuit of the notorious Fineman Gang were today interviewed in private as the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the death of eight men continues.
Four serving ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and one retired soldier were available for what was a preliminary interview to determine whether they will give public testimony.
They are Lieutenants Lloyd Souvenir, Sheldon Howell, Omar Khan and the retired army officer Fitzroy Warde.
Leslie Sobers, one of the attorneys representing the men, explained to the News Room that the ranks interviewed are the ones who were “on the ground conducting certain military operations and so they are enlightening the Commission as to the role of the military during that period of time.”
The Joint Services squad went into the Lindo Creek/Christmas Falls area in pursuit of the Fineman Gang sometime after the then Crime Chief Seelall Persaud and his team encountered the gunmen on June 5, 2008.
The Commission of Inquiry is trying to establish the whereabouts and the operation of the Joint Services team at the time the eight miners at Lindo Creek were suspected to have been killed.
The Police Force is maintaining that evidence shows it was the Fineman Gang that bears responsibility for murdering the men and then burning their bodies.
But family members blame the Joint Services.
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of the Police Force had launched an investigation into the claims made by relatives.
Head of the OPR Heeralall Mackenlall told the COI last month that he was unable to eliminate or implicate the Joint Services ranks in the Lindo Creek Massacre.
News Room understands that the Commission’s Secretariat is trying to make contact with other members of the Joint Services squad that was deployed to the area.
But the GDF said some of the individuals who were on the team are no longer serving of members of the Force.
To date, the Commission has conducted a number of public and in-camera hearings with persons who were either related to the murdered men or involved in the investigation.