Upon receipt of CoI report of alleged assassination plot… says his office, family members must be protectedBy Shemuel FanfairAs President David Granger received the report on the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into an alleged assassination plot against him, he said he feared for his office, telling reporters that the First Lady and members of his immediate family should also be protected against any security threats.CoI Chairman Paul Slowe shakes the hand of President Granger as Minister of State Joseph Harmon looks on (Carl Croker photo)“I am fearful for the office of the Presidency; I think that the office of the President is one that should enjoy the protection of the security services and any reports of threats or any risk against the President’s life or the lives of the immediate relatives of the President including the First Lady or the President’s children deserve to be properly and thoroughly investigated.President David Granger made these comments at a handing over ceremony at State House where he received the report from CoI Chairman, retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe. The Chairman, who was appointed in July 2017, was tasked to inquire into the persons, places, time, circumstances and events by and through which allegations came to be made of an intention or a plan to assassinate the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. The report will include the Commission’s findings as well as offer recommendations.Reporters questioned President Granger over possible fears for his personal safety and the fact the accused persons were released by Police.The President however indicated that he will wait to assess the Commission’s findings and hold consultations with his Cabinet before he makes any pronouncements on the matter.“It is good practice to ensure that the President is safe and if there is a threat to that safety, it should be investigated,” the President affirmed.Commissioner Slowe spoke briefly to media operatives after presenting his findings.He categorised the Commission’s work as a very “involved and lengthy process” in which enough evidence and witness statements were provided to meet the requirements as set out when he was first installed to investigate the alleged plot.The CoI sought to find out whether or not the Police conducted sufficient investigations into the allegations and threats to assassinate the President of the day and to ascertain if the Police had knowledge of the plot before, and what actions were taken after the receipt of that information.The inquiry further sought to establish whether there was neglect or omission to thoroughly investigate the plot to assassinate the President and determine whether such failure or omission was intentional. It also sought to recommend suitable prevention measures to thwart future occurrences.“The Terms of Reference spoke of diligence and thoroughness and all of those things, I think I attempted to answer fully,” Commissioner Slowe stated on Thursday.Though the Chairman was tight-lipped on whether or not he recommended disciplinary action on any Police rank involved in the investigation, the media was informed that after the President reviews the report, it will be made public. Several senior ranks had testified before the CoI.It was earlier this year that Andriff Gillard alleged that businessman Nizam Khan offered to pay him $7 million to kill President Granger sometime in 2015; an allegation that Khan denied.The CoI had heard that Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, while on leave, had ordered the release of businessman Khan – the accused plotter; his brother, Imran Khan, and the complainant – Andrif Gillard in March. Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine claimed that a proper investigation was not carried out. He had also agreed that the Police probe was lethargic and noted that he could not have defended the Guyana Police Force.Police Legal Advisor, Retired Justice Claudette Singh said that in her view, the matter was not treasonous while the mental state of the accuser, Gillard was questioned during the course of the CoI.
Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and wife Jaya Bachchan have sent a personalised hand-written note to actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Vicky Kaushal on being feted with National Awards. Amitabh sent a bouquet to the actors with a note, congratulating them for their win. Vicky took to his Instagram stories to share the photograph of the note, which read: “A most deserving National Award… May more follow in time. Keep up the good work.” He captioned the image: “This means the world to me! Thank you Bachchan sir and Jaya ma’am”. Ayushmann tweeted in Hindi along with the image of the note: “When you get a letter of appreciation from this generation’s megastar, it is no less than a National Award. Thank you Amitabh sir and Jaya ma’am.” Ayushmann and Vicky won National Award for their performance in the films Andhadhun and Uri: The Surgical Strike”, respectively. The Vicky Donor actor will soon be seen sharing screen space with Amitabh in the upcoming Shoojit Sircar directorial Gulabo Sitabo.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) got permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on 23 conditions to hold a rally in the capital on Friday demanding the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and her better treatment.The rally will have to be held in front of BNP’s Naya Paltan central office in Dhaka between 3:00pm and 5:00pm, police said.DMP’s Motijheel division deputy commissioner Shibli Noman told Prothom Alo that they have given permission to the BNP to hold the rally on conditions.As per the conditions, the BNP has to limit the programme in front of the party office only and they cannot hold the rally blocking roads.The order also said the party has to set up Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and archways, and deploy a good number of volunteers with ID cards to maintain discipline and ensure security.The condition also said this permission is not given for using space. The party has been asked to seek permission from the authorities concerned for using space, it added.On Thursday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said they have got a verbal permission from police to hold the rally in front of the party’s Naya Paltan central office at 3:00pm on Friday.Responding to a question about security of the rally, Shibli Noman said they have taken security measures as they usually take for rallies of political parties.They [BNP] would end the rally peacefully, police hopes.On 15 July, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced that their party will stage demonstrations across the country, including the capital, on Friday demanding the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and her better treatment.On 8 February 2018, a trial court sentenced Khaleda Zia to five years in jail in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and sent her to jail. Since then, the former prime minister has been kept in the abandoned central jail at Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka.