Former Attorney General of Guyana, Anil Nandlall this afternoon confirmed that one of the men currently in custody in connection with the murder of political activist, Courtney Crum-Ewing was indeed his personal bodyguard, but he claims he hired the man after Crum-Ewing’s death and fired him four days later.
In a hastily called press conference at the Sleepin Hotel on Brickdam, Mr. Nandlall distanced himself from the execution of the political activist and distanced himself also from his former bodyguard.
“I only came into contact with Rajput Narine after the death of Courtney Crum-Ewing. I take this opportunity to deny any involvement whatsoever in that incident and to say that there is obviously an attempt to implicate me and the PPP in this horrendous act as part of a political design”, Nandlall told the media.
He said he never had much information on his former bodyguard and has no interest in his arrest.
The former Attorney General said that on the night Crum-Ewing was gunned down in Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara, he was all the way in Timehri speaking at a political meeting. He said he only learnt of Crum-Ewing’s execution as news broke about it while he was on his way back to Georgetown.
Nandlall’s former body guard Rajput Narine was arrested late on Wednesday as the police widened their probe into the March 10, 2015 murder of Courtney Crum-Ewing.
The former Attorney General in his statement said he hired Rajput Narine as his bodyguard on the 15th March which was five days after the Crum-Ewing murder. He said just after Crum-Ewing’s execution he travelled to the U.S for a political meeting and it was there that he met the brother of Rajput Narine and the man recommended that he hired Rajput as a personal bodyguard.
At the time, Rajput Narine was in the employ of the Guyana Revenue Authority. Nandall said as soon as he returned to Guyana, he hired the man without carrying out any background checks and without seeking other recommendations. He said the fact that the man was a licensed firearm holder, that meant he must have been of good character and that was enough for him.
“I assumed that he was a person of good character because that is why he had a firearm license and that’s the ground on which one gets a firearm licensed”, Nandlall said.
According to the former Attorney General, “I met him in the presence of my driver who knew him from before. I explained to him the task at hand and he was willing to work as my body-guard. He informed me that at the time, he was in the employ of the Guyana Revenue Authority and I need to write the Commissioner General and request his secondment. The following day, I did so and he commenced working with me.”
But Nandlall said he was forced to fire Narine as his personal bodyguard just four days after giving him the job. He said that decision was made after his driver revealed to him that Narine had been telling people about his whereabouts.
“I never knew him before, never spoke with him before and never saw him before. I met him on the 15th day of March, 2015, for the first time”, the former Attorney General declared.
Asked by News Source whether he thinks that he erred in the hiring of Narine without proper checks while he served as the nation’s Chief Legal mind, Mr. Nandlall said he believes now that he erred and he is also convinced now that he should have done more background work on the man before hiring him.
News Source understands that Rajput Narine is well-known to several members of the People’s Progressive Party and even served at one time as one of the bodyguards of disgraced former Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj.
Gajraj was forced to resign from office in 2005 following several damning reports linking him to a death squad that carried out the executions of a number of wanted men and criminal suspects. The PPP government later appointed Gajraj as the High Commissioner to India.
Former Attorney General Nandlall today told the media that Rajput Narine was also an employee of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit before becoming an employee of the Guyana Revenue Authority.
Narine left his job at CANU after telling his bosses that he felt “unsafe” and complained that gunmen had opened fire at his house. He attempted to get back his job at CANU a few years after leaving the job, but his application was rejected.
The former bodyguard to the former Attorney General was arrested yesterday as the police continued to question the main suspect in the murder, Reagan Rodrigues aka Grey Boy.
Police investigators believe that the former bodyguard may have been the one to hire the hit-man who executed Crum-Ewing. Investigators are convinced that the hit-man was Reagan Rodrigues aka “Grey Boy”.
“Grey Boy” who is no stranger to law enforcement and was previously held in connection with at least two other executions, was arrested by the Police last week after he was found with an illegal weapon.
When ballistics tests were done on the weapon, it was realized that the same weapon was used to shoot Crum-Ewing dead. The political activist was shot five times. Three of those shots were to his head at close range. The other two shots were to his upper body.
Courtney Crum-Ewing was executed while using a loud hailer to encourage residents of Diamond to vote the PPP Civic out of office at the May 11 elections.
The political activist had protested for weeks outside the office of the Attorney General at the time, Anil Nandlall over a recorded telephone conversation between Nandlall and a Kaieteur News reporter in which Nandlall was heard making several disparaging remarks about a female reporter and also warned the Kaieteur News reporter to leave his job at the private media house because of the possibility of gunmen going there.
The investigation into Courtney Crum-Ewing’s death is ongoing.
LISTEN to Anil Nandlall’s full press conference by clicking HERE