Govt unleashes GRA against PPP/C members over budget exposé

first_img…”we will not be intimidated”—JagdeoThe coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Administration has unleashed the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) against senior members of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) hierarchy as part of its retaliatory action for exposing members of the incumbent Administration during the consideration of the 2017 Budgetary Estimates.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo delivered this charge on Thursday during an impromptu press engagement in the Committee Room of the National Assembly, even as the House continued considerations of the estimates for the 10 administrative regions.According to Jagdeo, at least five members of the PPP/C Executive have received letters from the GRA in relation to purported outstanding property taxes.Jagdeo told the media that the members he has spoken with thus far, have denied owing GRA any outstanding taxes.Finance Minister Winston JordanThose that the GRA had written to—even as the consideration of the estimates continued—are Dr Frank Anthony, Indra Chandarpal, Irfaan Ali, Joseph Hamilton and Bishop Juan Edghill.The letters were dispatched on Wednesday and Thursday.Lashing out at the move by the GRA, Jagdeo called the move an act of vindictiveness on the part of Government either as a collective or on the part of Finance Minister Winston Jordan.“They think by threatening investigations, to lock up people, that they will intimidate people,” Jagdeo charged as he defiantly declared “they are never gonna muzzle us.”According to the opposition leader, if the Government were to be judged by their own standards, half of the Cabinet would be placed in jail over the drug bond and D’Urban Park fiascos alone.Calling the move by Government a diversionary tactic, the Opposition Leader told the media that the PPP/C members written to, will be responding to GRA.He called the action by GRA a continuing trend on the part of Government, saying “every time we expose them, they then go after us.”A defiant Jagdeo has since challenged the Government to, “come after us, it is no problem, you should have done that already, it has been two years, do the worse that you can do.” According to Jagdeo, the Administration has been in office for close to two years and has completed a number of forensic audits which it has claimed, proves illegalities.Jagdeo, said to the Administration: “Charge who you have to charge, we will not be intimidated by Government.”Meanwhile the Opposition Leader also used the occasion to respond to both Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Finance Minster Jordan—both of whom would have rebutted his arguments during their presentations to the debate on the 2017 Estimates.According to Jagdeo, there isn’t much to respond to as it relates to Nagamootoo since his presentation was more of the same, true to form with a presentation 75 per cent about himself.He criticised Nagamootoo over the expenditure to be borne by the state on him, saying he was the person who preached about living the Cadillac lifestyle in a donkey cart economy in reference to the PPP/C Administration while in office.Jagdeo told the media that Nagamootoo is the same person who will be costing the treasury almost $12 million monthly.He said this is in addition to the almost $100 million that was spent to upgrade the facilities of his residence, purchase new furniture and a $22 million luxury ride.According to the former President, the annual upkeep of the Prime Minister alone is roughly equivalent to five per cent of the total wages of all of the workers in the employ of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).Turning his attention to the Finance Minister, Jagdeo said it is sad and pathetic that a significant part of the minister’s speech which should be in defence of the 2017 Budget, was in fact “spent on Jagdeo and praising himself…he went to best school, and was super finance minister all these years.”According to Jagdeo, for Minister Jordan to have to resort to such a presentation is illustrative of the fact that “either he doesn’t want to deal with issues at hand or insecure.”Responding to the Finance Minister’s assertion that his (Jagdeo’s) salary had in fact skyrocketed 500 per cent during his tenure in Office, Jagdeo said what the Minister failed to reveal is that Prime Minister Nagamootoo will get “$30 million more than I got and he was never President.”On the matter of Jordan’s character assassination of the former President, he told the media he has a different recollection of Jordan in the Ministry of Finance and maintains that he was never part of the policy aspect of a budget but was merely responsible for putting together various pieces of the document prepared by others, such as the Central Bank and Public Debt departments of the Ministry of Finance, “and thinking it was wonderful, technical work he was doing.”last_img read more

Police, Paramedic give statments at Inquest

first_imgDuring cross-examination, the paramedic was asked about the symptoms of cocaine psychosis. She agreed with statements by counsel Andrew Kemp that the symptoms included paranoia, aggravation, violent temperament, elevated metabolism, and superhuman strength. Kemp also asked the paramedic about the wounds on McPherson’s face, which she termed superficial. Several police involved in the takedown of a man who died hours later in hospital gave testimony at an inquest into the man’s death Thursday. At around 1:00am on the morning of August 28th, 2007, Larry McPherson was placed under arrest by police. He was pronounced dead in hospital later that morning. – Advertisement -Three officers—Cpl. Sliworsky, Cst. Crack and Cst. Shearer—were scheduled to testify in the inquest yesterday, but after hearing them, the jury requested that a fourth officer who was also present, Cst. Petre, come in and submit to questioning.Cst. Shearer, the first to speak, testified that he was in the process of responding to a call at Matthews Park when he heard reports of windows being smashed at 100th St. and 93rd Ave. Shearer decided to respond. He said he was driving south down 100th St. when he came upon McPherson, who was holding a large rock in each hand. Cst. Shearer testified that McPherson dropped the rocks when he asked him to do so; however, McPherson then began running. Shearer stated that Cst. Crack had arrived by that time and had parked his car in the McKenzie Inn parking lot. Cst. Shearer then says he saw Cst. Crack chase after McPherson while he got back in his cruiser and followed the two.Cst. Crack testified that he was on general patrol on the morning of the incident, and had left the detachment to respond to a call of someone yelling for help at the Northern Grand Hotel. Crack stated he knew that two other cruisers were following him down 100th St. from the detachment, one of which turned west onto 100th Ave. He then testified that he heard a report on his radio of a male breaking windows near Fountain Tire. Crack says that he arrived on scene too late to see whether McPherson had been holding rocks in his hands as Cst. Shearer had stated. He said that as McPherson began to run, he stumbled, which allowed Crack to catch up with him. Cst. Crack testified that he then put McPherson in a headlock, and Cst. Shearer took the pair to the ground. Shearer stated that during the struggle, he managed to cuff McPherson’s left arm, but that McPherson had folded his right arm underneath his body.Cpl. Sliworsky testified that he had followed Cst. Crack. He stated that he approached Crack, Shearer and McPherson while they struggled and held McPherson against the ground. Cst. Petre testified that he then arrived on the scene and held McPherson by his legs as the other officers attempted to subdue him. Petre said he then heard one of his fellow officers command McPherson to “stop resisting.” Cst. Petre said he then remembered Cst. Crack telling McPherson that he was under arrest. Cst. Shearer then managed to cuff McPherson’s right arm.There was a general consensus by the officers that at this point that they picked McPherson up facedown and attempted to load him into the back of a police cruiser. The officers said they had gotten McPherson partially into the cruiser when they decided that he was struggling too vigorously and needed to be further restrained to avoid damaging the backseat of the cruiser or harming himself. The officers said they then placed McPherson on the ground and Cst. Shearer retrieved a device called a Rip Hobble from his cruiser. Shearer said he then put the device around McPherson’s ankles to limit his movement. The officers testified that either as or just before they began to lift McPherson to his knees, he became unresponsive. Cst. Shearer testified that at this point he attempted to find McPherson’s carotid pulse, but he could not determine it from his own, because his own pulse was elevated from the intense struggle that had occurred minutes earlier. The officers testified that they then moved McPherson into the recovery position. Shearer stated that another officer then tried to find McPherson’s radial pulse, but was uncertain if he had felt anything. The officers then testified that McPherson entered what looked like a seizure. Cst. Petre said he found a towel that McPherson had been carrying and placed it under his head to prevent McPherson from scraping his face on the pavement as he shook. The officers stated that McPherson seized for several seconds. Cst. Petre said that when McPherson stopped shaking, he knelt down next to him and asked him what his name was. He said McPherson mumbled something that sounded like “Leonard.” The officer then testified that “like a switch,” McPherson began struggling again as though he was trying to get away. Petre remarked that McPherson seemed just as strong as before, and that was surprised that McPherson was still able to struggle. The officers testified that by this point, the ambulance had arrived, and as the ambulance personnel brought the stretcher towards them, McPherson once again went silent. Shearer testified that McPherson was uncuffed, but ambulance personnel asked that officers put the ambulance’s leg restraints on McPherson for their safety. Csts. Shearer and Petre testified they began CPR and artificial breathing with an airbag, and continued in the ambulance as they accompanied McPherson to hospital.The attending paramedic also gave testimony Thursday. She testified that she received this call at 1:06am. Her report of the night indicated she was asked to respond Code 3 (lights and siren) to assist RCMP. She testified that her team was on the scene at 1:11. The paramedic testified that she was surprised to see a man on the ground who was restrained, but was still managing to move around four RCMP officers. She testified that she saw a piece of fabric on the ground which she thought had previously been under McPherson’s head, and she also saw abrasions on his face that she assumed to be road rash. She said she knew his airway and breathing were okay, as he was yelling, but she was not prepared to intervene right away because she feared for her safety. The paramedic testified that she began to address the man by the name provided by the RCMP, “Leonard.” She stated that McPherson did not appear to be aware of her despite this. The paramedic said she returned to her ambulance to get a cot, and by the time she returned, McPherson had become unresponsive. She also added that RCMP did not appear to immediately recognize that he had become unresponsive. She stated police told her he had gone unresponsive before. The paramedic’s report stated that by 1:15am, she had the cot out of the ambulance. She testified that police uncuffed McPherson and put him on the cot, then put the BC Ambulance leg restraints on him at her request. The paramedic testified that she took out her AED, an automatic defibrillating device, and attached it to McPherson. She stated that McPherson now had no breathing, no pulse, and his eyes were fully dilated (a possible sign of brain death). The paramedic said that after receiving 5 signals from the AED that the patient would not benefit from a shock, the ambulance left the scene at 1:26am. Her report stated that at 1:29am, the ambulance arrived in hospital. During that time, she testified, McPherson never regained consciousness.Advertisementlast_img read more