A government minister ordering the release of a detained attorney-at-law is further evidence that the government is interfering in the operations of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), says retired Assistant Commissioner, Paul Slowe.

Slowe, in a recent missive to the media, rejected the detention of Attorney-at-law Tamieka Clarke on Friday, October 28, 2022, by ranks of the GPF’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). He said that detaining the lawyer because she advised her client to remain silent is a “reprehensible attack” on the rule of law and the constitutional right of the attorney and her client.

But while he laments the lawyer’s detention, Slowe is objecting to the method employed by the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, who moments after the woman’s arrest, called on SOCU to release her. Subsequently, Nandlall via a Facebook livestream, said that he apologised to Clarke for the “unfortunate incident”. He also admitted that he was, in fact, the one who contacted SOCU, as the GPF’s Constitutional Legal Advisor, to have Clarke released.

However, moments later, Clarke held a press conference with an opposition-aligned colleague, in which she promised to take legal action against SOCU. The Opposition has since used the incident to reinforce its long-held claims of the GPF’s alleged penchant to illegally arrest persons and the government’s sway in the law enforcement agency.

“The Attorney General also said that as part of his intervention, he spoke to the head of SOCU, Assistant Commissioner Fazil Karimbaksh. A Freudian slip perhaps. This is a serious departure from all protocols governing the interaction between government functionaries, including the Attorney General, and senior members of the Guyana Police Force,” Slowe said.

He added, ” The Attorney General should have spoken to the acting Commissioner and not the head of SOCU on such a serious matter. I have repeatedly stated that part of the current problem with the Guyana Police Force is the unprecedented political interference since August 2020. The statement by the Attorney General confirms this widespread belief.”


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