Monday, November 5, 2012

PPP sees Hughes' withdrawal, attack on integrity of commission as acts of desperation & panic by the opposition

IN a release, the People's Progressive Party (PPP) has said it is not surprised at the unravelling of the opposition’s vilification campaign against the Minister of Home Affairs, the Guyana Police Force, and the PPP/C government in the ongoing Linden Commission of Inquiry (CoI).

“It would be recalled that several opposition leaders who took to the stand were cautioned for misleading the commissioners, and made a plethora of contradictory statements.”
Then the evidence provided by no less than the UK ballistics expert brought in by the AFC contradicted the contentions by the opposition that the police were responsible for the deaths and injuries of several protesters in Linden.
“The opposition had based their attack against the Minister of Home Affairs, alleging that he had issued the order for the police to open fire on the protesters during a telephone conversation with the police commander on the ground prior to the shooting in Linden.
“Telephone records provided confirmed this to be another falsehood, proving that the minister made contact with the commander almost two hours after the incident,” the release said.

The party noted that despite the Commissioners of the Inquiry indicating that there was no evidence presented by the opposition to implicate the Minister of Home Affairs in the Linden incident, the opposition continued to press its demand that the minister take the stand, which was eventually acceded to by the CoI.
“The public was in for another spectacle (in which) A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Attorney-at-Law Basil Williams…accused the minister for failing to provide any instruction to the Guyana Police Force on the Linden incident. While, on the other hand, the other opposition -- AFC Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes -- falsely contends that the minister instructed the Guyana Police Force on the Linden incident,” the party charged.
According to the PPP, during this period, as the opposition case began to unravel and their contentions proved a falsehood, they became noticeably agitated, and particularly, the Alliance For Change (AFC) Chairman Nigel Hughes began to vent his frustration on witnesses, and even the commissioners themselves.
“The seeming confusion and a signal of defeat almost led to physical confrontation with a witness through Hughes’s line of questioning. After he was requested by the CoI to retract an injurious and false statement about the witness, he reacted angrily and informed the commissioners that he was refusing to withdraw his statement, and he will no longer be honouring his commitment to the victims of the Linden incident whom he was representing,” the release said.
It added: “The People's Progressive Party sees this as an act of desperation and panic by the opposition, as the truth has prevailed and their wicked falsehoods exposed.
“Guyanese will also remember the ultimatum issued by Nigel Hughes and Moses Nagamootoo of the AFC for the resignation of the Home Affairs Minister, and the chaos which prevailed on the Agricola public road after their public statements that they were ‘not calling for peace’.”
The party said it expects that all stakeholders in society, including the many victims of their actions, will come forward publicly and remind the opposition of the grievous harm and disruption inflicted on the nation by the campaign of lies and false accusations.
“The PPP notes, too, efforts in the letter columns by a few opposition activists to derail the work of the CoI. We expect all parties and groups to reject this latest scheme,” the release said.

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