Berbice teen murders: APNU+AFC files Parliamentary motion for Police to expedite probe

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The opposition APNU+AFC on Monday filed a Parliamentary motion calling for the Police to “expedite the investigations and bring to justice” the perpetrators of the “gruesome and barbaric murders” of Berbice teen boys Joel and Isaiah Henry and Haresh Singh.

The motion was filed in the name if Geeta Chandan-Edmond and delivered to Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs.

The motion will now have to be placed on the Parliamentary Order paper and then it will have to be debated.

APNU+AFC member Geeta Chandan-Edmond speaking with the media [News Room photo/ November 16, 2020]
In presenting the motion to the Clerk, Chandan-Edmond was accompanied by several other opposition Parliamentarians, including former Speaker Raphael Trotman and Chief Whip Christopher Jones.

Trotman, in pointing out that is now more than 50 days since the bodies of the three teens were found, said the crimes are undoubtedly hate crimes.

“I’ll stop short from saying hate because of politics or hate because of race or even gender but I believe that anyone who saw those bodies… would agree that whoever did this was full of hate,” he told the media outside the Parliament buildings.

AFC Member of Parliament Raphael Trotman [News Room photo/ November 16, 2020]
He urged swift action in solving the crimes while noting that the longer it takes for the crimes to be solved the greater the inference that public will draw and the more pain the families will feel

“It is important for our national consciousness and conscience that there is an expeditious solution to these murders,” he added.

Trotman in direct response to the government’s statement that it favors its United States, United Kingdom and Canadian counterparts in assisting with further investigation said the Coalition is aghast that the government has not responded positively to the family’s request for an Argentine team to come and investigate the murders.

“We are more aghast that even as it is being scoffed at nothing is being put in place to replace it to say that Scotland Yard is coming or the FBI is coming or the best forensic team from Canada is on its way,” he said.

This is not the first time the APNU+AFC is submitting a Motion in relation to the murders. The last motion was rejected by Speaker of the National assembly Manzoor Nadir.

But with amendments made, the APNU+AFC expects that the Motion will now be approved which will lead to a debate at a later date.

The Clerk noted that in keeping with Standing Order 20 (7), he is authorized to receive the Motion but it is the Speaker who has the final say.

The mutilated bodies of Isaiah, 16, and Joel, 18, were found in the Cotton Tree backlands, West Coast Berbice on September 6. The killers carved out a huge ‘X’ on Isaiah’s head while they cut open Joel’s chest.

The cousins had left their Number 3 Village, West Coast Berbice home to go into the backdam to pick coconuts the day before their bodies were found.

On September 14, the police determined that the boys were murdered somewhere else and then dumped in the backlands of Cotton Tree.

It was during those protests after the killings that 17-year-old Haresh Singh was killed.

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