connections have emerged in the widening probe into the firebombing of the
Health Ministry’s base in Georgetown and investigators are following leads to
people connected to a house in the city, President Bharrat Jagdeo said
‘SLAMMING DIVERSION CAMPAIGN’: His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo during yesterday’s news conference.
At a press
conference in the Office of the President complex in Georgetown, Mr. Jagdeo said
some of those charged in the case have identified a house in Meadowbrook,
Georgetown that was the base for the July 17 pre-dawn firebomb attack on the
Health Ministry headquarters on Brickdam.
provided some details on the plot uncovered so far but declined to give names
from a list of suspects he had at the briefing, saying, “…that’s not the
end of it, because it goes up and it goes overseas – the connections; they are
going to emerge as the investigations continue.”
some of those being investigated may be in the formal political system and
others “may be associated with politics.”
President said those who started the fire have confessed and through caution
statements have painted the picture of the plot leading investigators to the
persons who sold them gasoline, bottles and other material for the Molotov
cocktails (channa bombs) used in the attack.
have also found the house in Meadowbrook where the bombs were made the night
before the arson, he reported.
who made the devices; we know when they went to the building (the Health
Ministry); two of them are claiming they were lookouts, but they went into the
building, went through the door, started the fire in the building; we know about
the people who recruited these others, how the recruitment took place…”
said catching those responsible for the fire and condemning the arson as a
reprehensible act have been shifted into the background and there’s a new,
clever campaign emerging that is supported by some members of the media.
This, he charged, is designed to focus attention away from “this reprehensible act” and the loss it represents for the country to “so-called human rights issues”.
referred to the editorial in yesterday’s Kaieteur
News which he said found everything wrong about the
$25M reward offered for information that could help the investigation,
the operations of the security forces “but nothing about the people who
committed this dastardly act.”
disgusting but a very clever strategy”, he declared, adding that the aim is to
blow up other issues to such an extent that the act and the people behind it are
President said a suspect in the case has been linked to a former Chief
Magistrate who claims she is being discriminated against.
see that as a preemptive strike because one of the so-called recruiters claims
he’s her friend; she’s saying he’s family; he drove the vehicle to the
Meadowbrook area where they were making the bombs that night”, he said.
added that the former Chief Magistrate was among others present when three men
were arrested for protesting outside Police headquarters not long before the
you consider that… the former Chief Magistrate was one of those who was there
also, then a picture of what took place starts emerging; but some sections of
the media are not interested in that”, he said.
that those behind the diversion campaign are trying to “make it look like the
whole government is beating people on the streets and violating their human
rights and all of that stuff” while ignoring the good part of the
the kind of warped logic that we have in this country and it’s all a
smokescreen painted deliberately so that people don’t see the real issue and
the perpetrators and what’s happening”, he argued.
a campaign”, he stressed.
President said he was also secure that the government’s record on governance
and human rights is good compared to that of most countries in the world,
maintaining that there is no official state policy to torture people.
defended the offer of a $25M reward for information saying, “I thought it was
so important for our country to find out who will commit this sort of act to
offer such a reward”.
that in countries that have crime stoppers programmes, people get money for
thought it was a serious act and I thought we needed to stop it because if they
had not caught these people, from all that we are finding out, this wouldn’t
have been the end to it”.
was important for us and we offered a reward and if the reward helps fine, but
they (the police) did good investigative work”, the President said.
about the chances of further targeting of government buildings and facilities,
he said he could not guarantee anything, noting that two of the men held in the
probe disappeared from police lockups.
they go back to doing something similar? I don’t know. The answer could very
well be yes. Could another group, just to cast doubt that these are the real
guys…do something else as a smokescreen and then say, `Oh look it’s
happening again although you have these guys in custody’. Could that happen?
The answer is yes. But we are getting to the top of this.”
said security forces have assured that they have stepped up security at
government buildings and other places since the firebombing of the ministry.
Affairs Minister Clement Rohee and Police Commissioner Henry Greene earlier this
week said police have uncovered a network behind the firebombing.
there were “intellectual authors” behind the arson plot and investigators
were looking for some key players.
Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, at a press conference after the fire, said the
blaze started on the upper floor of the main building in the complex.
complex that was gutted by the blaze that started around 3am, housed the offices
of Ramsammy and senior ministry officers and four other annexes.
other buildings in the compound were slightly damaged, including one in the
southeastern corner of the compound in which an incendiary device was placed.
Greene said security guards on duty at the Health Ministry appeared to have been sleeping when the fire began.
Thursday, July 30, 2009