Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo says that it is not too late for the Government of Guyana to launch a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the alleged extrajudicial killings that took place under his government’s tenure.
“It is not too late for [President David Granger] to have an international inquiry into what took place in this era. So, if he feels so strongly about it and the government [feels so strongly] about all these extrajudicial killings in that period, why not launch a commission of inquiry? But a proper one,” Jagdeo said.
The politician was at the time responding to claims made by the Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams that Jagdeo’s government presided over one of the deadliest eras in our country’s history which saw three massacres and the alleged operation of several state-sponsored death squads.
Williams took to social media to respond to allegations made by the opposition that he had threatened violence if the ongoing contentious house-to-house registration is not allowed.
The AG’s position was ventilated in the state-run newspaper, the Guyana Chronicle, in which he was quoted, “The PPP/C presided over the worst kinds of violence ever seen in the history Guyana or any CARICOM member state. Extra-judicial killings conducted by a variety of state-sponsored death squads, including the black clothes squad, Gajraj squad, and the phantom squad…The PPP/C ‘s reign of terror left over nine hundred dead.”
Today, Jagdeo during a press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office said that the AG was selective in his claims, and questions why the government has not yet sought to verify these assertions.
“And he [Williams] goes back to the old rhetoric about extrajudicial killings, Bartica massacre, etcetera. He didn’t mention when people were slaughtered at Agricola. Why have they not done a Commission of inquiry about all these things? You know why? Because many of them will be exposed [and] the role they played,” Jagdeo argued.