Almost two years after the commencement of hearings, the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) report is expected to be handed over to President David Granger in the new week.
The three Commissioners, Chairman Sir Richard Cheltenham from Barbados, Queens Counsel Jacqueline Samuels – Brown, from Jamaica and Senior Counsel Seerath Jairam, from Trinidad are back in Guyana and met today with Attorney General Basil Williams.
In a telephone interview shortly after the meeting, Williams said the Commissioners assured him that they will be ready to present the report by next week.
He could not say how soon after it will be made available to the public.
Attorney General Williams explained that releasing the report to the public will be at the discretion of the President.
In December, President Granger declined a request from Sir Richard for yet another adjournment to submit the report on the Commission’s findings.
Sir Richard had written to President Granger requesting an adjournment to February 29, 2016.
The President had asked that the report be submitted before the end of December 2015, but that deadline was not satisfied.
The Inquiry was commissioned by Former President Donald Ramotar during his time in office. It began its work in April 2014 and received several extensions under the former administration but was given two weeks to wrap up hearings after the coalition government took office in May 2015.
The Commission was tasked with, among other things, examining the facts and circumstances immediately prior, at the time of, and subsequent to, the death of Dr. Walter Rodney in order to determine, as far as possible, who or what was responsible for the explosion resulting in the death of Dr. Walter Rodney.
It also inquired into the cause of the explosion in which Dr. Walter Rodney died, whether it was an act of terrorism, and if so, who were the perpetrators and the role, if any, that the late Gregory Smith of the Guyana Defence Force, played in the death of Dr. Walter Rodney and if so, to inquire into who may have counselled, procured, aided and or abetted him to do so, including facilitating his departure from Guyana after Dr. Walter Rodney’s death.
The Commission was a fact finding one. President Granger had criticized the Commission’s work prior to his election to office, and said it was a political witch-hunt by the former PPP government.
Dr. Walter Rodney who was the founder of the Working People’s Alliance was killed when a bomb exploded in his lap as he sat in a car in Georgetown in 1980.