Hours after the Guyana Police Force announced its $3 million reward for information about the murder of Berbice teens, Isaiah and Joel Henry and Haresh Singh, the Attorney for the Henry family, Nigel Hughes said the offer of that reward at this time is an admission of failure by the Police Force.
Speaking during a press conference with family members of the murdered Henry cousins, Mr. Hughes said the reward is coming nine weeks after the murders and appears to have been triggered by the family’s decision to meet with the media today.
“This is an admission of failure by the Guyana Police Force that they were unable to solve this crime and clearly after some eight to nine weeks of investigation, were in no better position than they were at the commencement of the investigation…and they are now resorting in offering money for information”, Mr. Hughes said.
He said offering rewards for information does not always lead to credible information being obtained and that is a concern at this time.
The Attorney said there has still been no movement by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government to engage a high level team of forensic specialists from Argentina and Spain who are prepared to come to Guyana and lend their expertise to the probe.
Hughes complained that despite a number of letters to the Home Affairs Minister and discussions with other Government officials, the team is still to be engaged by the local police and the government.
The team carries a cost of US$20,000 plus travel and accommodation and meals in Guyana. The Attorney appeared surprised that the team is still to be formally engaged by the Government.
“The Police have offered $3million which is US$15,000 with the hope that somebody will come forward with information and to get professionals, the best in the world, or one of the best in the world here for the professional fee of US$20,000 which is $4 million plus travel and board, so we should add probably another US$10,000 or US$15,000 and which is $7million or $8million, I can’t imagine why the state would not want to expend that some in acquiring the forensic capacity from the Argentinian and Spanish people who will be able to add resources to this investigation and their capacity far exceeds any capacity in the Caribbean and certainly exceeds any capacity that the RSS (Regional Security System) has”, Hughes said.
He noted that it is important for time to be carefully looked at especially if the bodies will have to be exhumed and reexamined.
With reference to the investigation done so far by the Police, Mr. Hughes revealed that it appeared as though a pair of trousers that one of the Henry cousins was found in was not sent for forensic tests in St. Lucia along with other pieces of evidence.
The Attorney revealed that the trousers that Joel Henry was found in was not the same one that he was wearing when he left home and therefore he thought it would have been important for that piece of evidence to be submitted for tests.
He said the Guyana Police Force and its investigators have refused to share information about the pieces of evidence that were sent for the forensic examinations and have also refused to share the report that was completed and handed over to local Police by the Regional Security System team that visited two weeks ago to assist with the probe.
The only word coming out of the Government and the Police Force on that visit is that the team believes the Guyana Police Force has the capacity to investigate the murders. Mr. Hughes said based on the reward offer by the Police, it is clear that the assessment by the RSS and its own work are now questionable.
The Home Affairs Ministry and the Police Force have been mum on the investigations. The last press conference on the murders was done more than a month ago and there has been a trickle of information on the investigation since then.
Attorney Hughes said the murders have left a gapping wound in the country and the murders need to be solved.