Anil Nandlall’s ex-bodyguard detained for Crum-Ewing murder

Anil Nandlall’s ex-bodyguard detained for Crum-Ewing murder

July 24, 2015 | By |– Former Attorney General denies involvement
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall reads a statement to the media

Anil Nandlall

Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall yesterday categorically denied any involvement in the assassination of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing, and said that an ex-bodyguard of his, Rajput Narine, who police have detained, was hired several days after Crum-Ewing’s death.

Nandlall made the denial during a press conference in which he repeatedly refuted suggestions that he, or any members of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), orchestrated the murder, which is being deemed a politically motivated killing.   

Nandlall met with journalists shortly after online news reports stated that police had detained Rajput Narine, his former bodyguard, in connection with Crum-Ewing’s murder.

Narine, a former Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) officer, was reportedly employed with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) when Nandlall hired him as a bodyguard.

But Nandlall said yesterday that he fired Narine some four days after he had employed him, for unsatisfactory performance. Nandlall said that he did not do a background check on his bodyguard, or ask for references, because he had assumed Narine was of “good character”.

“He was a former CANU officer, he was a licenced firearm holder, he was in the employ of the GRA, and I assumed he was a person of good character, (and) that is why he had a licenced firearm, which is a ground by which one is granted a firearm licence.”

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum declined to confirm the suspect’s link to the former AG or to release the name of the detained man.

Police have also arrested an individual with a firearm that ballistic tests matched to the one that was used by Crum-Ewing’s killer.

Nandlall said that the police have not contacted him about the ex-bodyguard’s arrest, and he only learned of this development from online news sources.

Crum-Ewing was gunned down in Diamond Housing Scheme on March 10, 2015, while using a bull-horn to urge residents to vote for the APNU+ AFC Coalition. He had also protested for several days outside Nandlall’s office, while calling for the former AG to resign.

After his murder, some relatives alleged that Crum-Ewing had reported that he was threatened by two individuals, including a PPP official, while staging his protests. But Nandlall yesterday insisted that he had never spoken to or threatened Crum-Ewing. He also gave an alibi for his whereabouts at the time.

“Let me say from the outset that Courtney Crum-Ewing protested for several months in front of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, while I was the sitting Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs,” Nandlall said.

“During that time, I never once interacted or spoke to the individual. As far as I am aware, no harm befell him while he was conducting his protest actions at that location. There is obviously an attempt to implicate me and the PPP in this horrendous act as part of a political design. I hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”

Reading from a statement, Nandlall said that Crum Ewing was shot nearly two months after he had stopped protesting outside the Ministry of legal Affairs.

“At the time, I was speaking at a political meeting in front of the Kali Mandir at Timehri. Approximately 100 persons were in attendance. “

He said that it was while returning from the meeting that he was informed of Crum-Ewing’s death.
According to Nandlall, “wild allegations” immediately began to be made, implying that the PPP was involved in this killing. He said he was advised to hire security for his home, as well as bodyguards.

“I contacted the Guyana Police Force and armed security from the Force was provided at my house, and I was offered the opportunity to retain a person of my choice as my bodyguard.”

But Nandlall said that he accompanied President Ramotar on a New York visit on 12th of March, 2015, without securing the suggested bodyguard. He stated that while overseas, he met an old acquaintance, Anter Narine, and “the Crum-Ewing issue came up.”

Anter Narine reportedly told Nandlall that he had a brother in Guyana, Rajput Narine, “who is a former CANU Officer and who is a licenced firearm holder and who is a person whom I can trust and that I should consider hiring him.”

“He gave me his brother’s cell number. Upon my return to Guyana, I called the person and arranged to meet and met with him. 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.
“I met him in the presence of my driver, who knew him from before. 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.

“However, after about four days, I was dissatisfied with his performance, generally. More importantly, my drivers reported that he was disclosing our whereabouts to persons on his telephone. As a result, I told him that I will no longer require his services and sent him away. I took back a vehicle which was assigned to him as a backup to my vehicle.

“I next requested from the Commissioner of Police, two members of the Force as my security details. Two officers of the Force were assigned to me. They were recalled when I demitted office. After I sent away Rajput, I wrote to the Commissioner General so informing him.

“I hope I have clearly demonstrated that 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.

I hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. “
Nandlall said that he couldn’t recall whether he had seen Narine after firing him. The former Attorney General stated that he (Nandlall) “was not a very security-conscious person”, and should have submitted his former security guard to “greater background security,” prior to hiring him.

The former Attorney General said that he is now concerned for his safety in the wake of the stories about the arrest of his ex-bodyguard for Crum Ewing’s murder.

“My desire has always been to serve the people of Guyana, and when one looks at the problems that befall you, as you attempt to do public service, then you really have to question if it is worth it.
“I left a very successful practice to work with the government… at some point as a human being; you have to do some introspection to see if it is worth it.”

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Comments

  • Gigi  On 07/28/2015 at 10:42 am

    Hmmmm…… he has been released but it would seem that this piece of news does not fit the narrative.

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