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Kwame McCoy fined for 2011 assault on Mark Benschop

Former presidential press officer Kwame McCoy was yesterday found guilty of assaulting rights activist Mark Benschop in March, 2011, and he was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.

Two other charges against McCoy, for alleged damage to property and simple larceny, were dismissed by city magistrate Annette Singh.

McCoy, of Great Diamond, East Bank Demerara, was given two weeks to pay the fine by the magistrate or he would have to spend an alternative of a month in prison. It was the second time he was found guilty of assault.

Kwame McCoy
Mark Benschop

McCoy was charged with assault, stealing a laptop and damaging a vehicle that belonged to Benschop, on March 5, 2011, at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.

Benschop, who is currently in North America, had testified via Skype last Friday that he was physically assaulted by McCoy and he had credible witnesses who saw the accused stealing his laptop and smashing the windows to his truck.

McCoy was called to lead his defence to the assault charge yesterday and he told the court that he never touched Benschop on the day of their encounter.

However, Magistrate Singh, in handing down her sentence, later told him that she believed the evidence that was presented to her by Benschop. She, however, added that there was no evidence to find McCoy guilty on the simple larceny and malicious damage to property charges, since the virtual complainant did admit in court that he did not see McCoy committing the acts since he had run away from the scene.

Additionally, prosecution witnesses were once again a no-show and Prosecutor Gillian Simmons was therefore unable to present a case against McCoy on the two charges that were eventually dismissed.

McCoy, who was relieved that the matter was over, was unhappy with the guilty verdict on the assault charge. Before exiting the court compound, he told members of the media who were gathered that he was innocent of all the charges.

For McCoy, the conviction is his second for assault. In 2012, McCoy was found guilty of committing an assault for gun-butting a man after a row over elections campaign posters. McCoy was found guilty of assaulting and using threatening language on Clifton Stewart, for which he was fined a total of $70,000.

Kwame McCoy, co-accused in Freddie Kissoon faeces assault claim innocence in unsworn testimony

Jason Abdulla (at left) and Kwame McCoy
Jason Abdulla (at left) and Kwame McCoy

Kwame McCoy, Jason Abdulla and Shawn Hinds, the three men accused of dousing newspaper columnist Freddie Kissoon with faeces, yesterday proclaimed their innocence of the crime when they each led their defence in unsworn testimony.

People’s Progressive Party (PPP) members McCoy and Abdulla, as well as bodyguard Hinds are charged with committing the assault in the vicinity of Robb and Light streets on May 24, 2010. They were each called upon to lead a defence after the court found that a prima facie case has been made against them.

When their trial resumed before Magistrate Judy Latchman in Georgetown yesterday, McCoy was first called upon to present his evidence to the court. He told the court that he has never participated at any time, either by way of contemplation, support or execution, in an assault on Kissoon.

He noted that he was absolutely convinced that the charge was a fabrication against him and reiterated that he was innocent of the charge.

Shawn Hinds

His attorney, Latchmie Rahamat, stated that they would be calling no witnesses.

Subsequently, Abdulla, like McCoy, told the court that he was innocent of the charge. He denied assaulting Kissoon or being a part of any plot to perpetrate an assault on him.

Abdulla told the court that he has never had an altercation with Kissoon and does not know him in a personal capacity.

He also challenged the contents of a confession statement, in which he implicated himself and his co-accused, and which the court ruled was made freely and voluntarily. Abdulla stated that while in custody at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), at Eve Leary, in 2016, he was given a few pieces of paper to sign but had no knowledge of their contents until he was placed before the court on a charge that he assaulted Kissoon.

His attorney, George Thomas, then told the court that his client would not be calling any witnesses.

Attorney Glenn Hanoman also made this statement after his client, Hinds, also professed his innocence to the court.

Hinds relied on a statement he would have given to the police at CID headquarters, where he denied being a part of any planning to commit any offence against Kissoon.

At the conclusion of their testimony, Magistrate Latchman adjourned the case until December 1, when the defence attorneys are expected to give their closing addresses and the police prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves is to reply.

Freedom House staffer jailed for throwing faeces on Freddie Kissoon


Jailed: Jason Abdulla

Principal Magistrate, Judy Latchman, yesterday sentenced Freedom House operative, Jason Abdulla, to six months’ imprisonment for throwing faeces on newspaper columnist and social activist Frederick Kissoon after founding him guilty of the charge.

Kwame McCoy, former Liaison Officer to the President, during the tenure of the People Progressive Party (PPP), and self-confessed death squad member, Sean Hinds, had the matter against them dismissed after the Magistrate found them not guilty of committing the offence.

The Magistrate took a while to outline to the court all the reasons for finding Abdulla guilty.

Kwame McCoy, Jason Abdulla and Shawn Hinds were accused of assaulting Kissoon on Monday, May 24, 2010, at Georgetown.

The Magistrate told Abdulla that she is of the opinion that Kwame McCoy gave him directives to throw faeces on Kissoon and to record the incident.

She added that in Abdulla’s statement to the police, he outlined that after the assault took place, McCoy give him $100,000 for a job well done.

The Magistrate stated that she found both the oral and written statement given by Abdulla were done freely and voluntarily.

She stressed that in his statement he implicated himself.

Magistrate Latchman told the court, “I disbelieved when Abdulla said that he had no altercation with Kissoon. I disbelieve that Abdulla was given a few pieces of paper to sign without reading, and I disbelieve that Abdulla have a very poor recollection of his activities on the day of the assault.”

She said that the court finds that Abdulla had knowledge of the assault which he watched and then reported to McCoy that the crime was successful.

The Magistrate told the court that Kwame McCoy and Sean Hinds did not implicate themselves when they were arrested. They remained silent when they were arrested and it was Abdulla who implicated them both, she said.

Attorney-at-Law Glen Hanoman who represented Abdulla throughout the trial told the court that common assault is one of the lowest crimes in the laws of Guyana.

He added that Abdulla is a first time offender and at the time of the assault he was only 29.

He went on to tell the court that his client spent six days in custody and in his caution statement he appeared to play a minor role. Hanoman told the court that his client was simply following the direction of his employer, Kwame McCoy, who pays his bills.

He told the court that if his client had refused to commit the offence he would have lost his job.

The Magistrate before sentencing the accused told the court that she considered the fact that faeces was thrown on the victim and it’s an incident that will forever be embedded in Kissoon’s mind. She also emphasised the need to prevent persons from committing similar offences.

The matter was prosecuted by Police Prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves.

The men allegedly threw faecal matter into Kissoon’s face when he emerged from Nigel’s Supermarket, at Robb Street, Georgetown.
It was reported that an individual walked up to the columnist’s vehicle and threw the substance on him. After the attack, Kissoon reportedly drove behind the perpetrator who ran north along Light Street then onto North Road, before jumping into a waiting car. Attorney Latchmie Rahamat represented McCoy; Attorney George Thomas represented Sean Hinds.

Last year when Kissoon was called to testify in court, he recalled that on the day in question, he had left Nigel’s Supermarket on Robb Street, Georgetown and entered his vehicle which was parked nearby.

He said that he had wound down his vehicle’s window when a man walked up and threw a substance on him. The witness recounted that after the substance was thrown on him; a man of African descent walked away, jogged across North Road, proceeded down Merriman Mall and entered a motorcar.

He also went on to describe his attacker’s height and body structure

Kissoon said that he discarded the shirt he was wearing at the time of the attack, because he had no reason for wanting to keep a nasty piece of material.

Last edited by Django
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McCoy denies assaulting Sarabo-Halley

-complaint lodged with police

Yesterday’s sitting of Parliament was suspended after it was alleged that Minister of Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy had assaulted opposition Member of Parliament, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley.

McCoy later issued a statement denying he had assaulted Sarabo-Halley, the former minister of the public service

The alleged incident took place in the corridors of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre just outside the parliamentary proceedings which were taking place in the main conference hall.

As reports of the incident came to light, opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones, stood in the House which had been resolved into the Commit-tee of Supply to consider the budget estimates and sought the reconvening of the assembly to deal with the allegations.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir told Jones that he was only allowed to ask questions on the item that they were then discussing. This comment sparked an uproar from the opposition members of parliament who began shouting “No”.

Nadir told the House that as they were in the Committee of Supply, the Chief Whip would have to wait for them to leave that committee and revert to the assembly so that the opposition members could be heard. As such he made a ruling and determined that they would continue with the item that was being discussed.

“We refuse! This matter is not a light matter, a female member of parliament was physically assaulted by Mr Kwame McCoy,” Jones told the House to the disapproval of the Speaker, who asked the opposition members to allow the House to continue on the matter that they were on. However, opposition members began protesting in the House as they banged on the tables and shouted “No!”. The sitting was then suspended as the members of the opposition continued their protest, shouting “Kwame must go.”

Meanwhile, Sarabo-Halley during a live report by the APNU+AFC stated that she was still in shock at what had transpired. The opposition parliamentarian said that she has been dealing with pervasive verbal abuse from  McCoy ever since she has been in parliament. “He’s been verbally abusing me in a number of different ways, stating things about my hair, whether I’m dunce or not, so he has been always on this notion of attacking me verbally in parliament.”

Going into details on what exactly transpired, the former minister recounted that she had left the House sitting to make her way to the washroom and saw MP’s from the government’s side in a verbal battle with Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield, who was at parliament for the Consi-deration of Estimates for the Guyana Elections Commission.

“So they were really trying to get at him and he eventually left and we were still there, so Kwame approached me with a phone in his hand, apparently videotaping or something, I’m not sure what he was doing and so he was in my face less than a feet away from me, so I raised my hand to block him from recording me and he took his hand with the phone and just chucked me to my left temple”, Sarabo-Halley said.

Initially, Sarabo-Halley said that she went to the Speaker of the House and the Clerk of the National Assembly to report the incident and she was told to report the matter to the police.  The MP disclosed that she has given a statement to the police.

Wasn’t alone

“I wasn’t alone, there were two persons that actually witnessed what happened because I thought I was alone on the corridor and when I turned around I saw two persons they were actually there and they saw everything that happened so it wouldn’t just be my word against him,” she noted.

Meanwhile a statement from the Minister of Public Affairs in response to the allegations noted, “I emphatically and completely deny that I assaulted Ms. Halley as she has alleged or at all. At no time did I touch Ms. Halley with my phone or any part of my body.”

Further McCoy averred that at the time in question he was outside the parliament chambers and had “completed” a verbal exchange with Lowenfield. “After Mr. Lowenfield’s departure, I began to speak with Minister Anand Persaud. I observed the presence of Ms. Halley who was approximately four feet away from me. We exchanged words, but there was absolutely no physical contact whatsoever,” the statement added.

The public affairs minister stated that the allegations are malicious, false, and intended to cause him ridicule. He also mentioned that following the report of the allegations, he  observed postings on social media by the opposition MP which he believes are libellous and will take action.

Sarabo-Halley has indicated her unwillingness to re-enter the parliament chambers and sit close to the minister again. “I refuse to do that, he should not be permitted back in parliament, at least I will not be going into parliament with him there as a member of parliament.”

“I will not be sitting at parliament and I will be doing all I can… in terms of criminal charges, private criminal charges against Kwame McCoy on this matter”, Sarabo-Halley declared.

The Working People’s Alliance  of which Sarabo-Halley was a member, in a press release, condemned the alleged act and noted that such action should not be tolerated and called for the minister to be suspended from the National Assembly.

Parliament was reconvened at around 7:55pm with government ministers present. The Speaker of the House reported the incident to the House and noted that a team comprised of the Prime Minister, Government Chief Whip, and the Leader of the Opposition, along with the Clerk of the Assembly met and another team was able to review video footage of what happened in the corridor.

“That team comprised of the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Member Mr Christopher Jones, the Honourable Member Ms Natasha Singh-Lewis, and the Clerk of the National Assembly. The commander has reported that what has been witnessed on the tape cannot inform a decision of what has allegedly occurred and he has to now rely on statements from witnesses,” Nadir told the House.

Parliament was subsequently adjourned until 10 am today with a number of items that were expected to be discussed being left undone.

At a late-night virtual press conference, Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, also condemned the alleged actions of the minister.

Harmon backed up the statement made by Speaker Nadir in relation to the reviewing of the video footage and stated, “ unfortunately what that video footage showed was that there are some areas of the National Assembly that are not covered by the cameras and so this would have been one such area.”

“It offers you evidence of what may have happened before and after,” Harmon said as he described what he saw on the footage which was reviewed. He told the press conference that it shows McCoy shaking his phone however, at the point where the alleged incident would have occurred, there is no adequate coverage.

He noted that there has always been issues of cameras and coverage at the Conference Centre. Further the Opposition Leader said that the matter is being handled by the police as they have to now rely on eyewitness’ evidence as statements were taken from several persons. “I do believe that when this investigation is completed it will vindicate the statements that have been made by MP Sarabo-Halley,” he said

The Opposition Leader informed that the party will later make a decision on whether they will return to parliament following the alleged altercation.

Opposition MP Tabitha Sarabo-Halley accuses Minister Kwame Mc Coy of assault; Mc Coy denies

Tabitha Sarabo-Halley

Opposition parliamentarian Tabitha Sarabo-Halley on Wednesday alleged that Minister of Public Affairs Kwame Mc Coy assaulted her just outside the dome where sittings of the National Assembly are being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Ms. Sarabo-Halley said she has reported the matter to police and statements have already been taken from her and two witnesses.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs told Demerara Waves Online News/News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM that surveillance video recordings were examined but nothing was seen as the area by the elevator is not covered by the cameras.

Mr. Isaacs said he, Prime Minister Mark Phillips, opposition parliamentarian Natasha Singh-Lewis, the Divisional Police Commander Mr. Pareshram all viewed the video recording.

Mr. Mc Koy on Wednesday night denied committing the offence. “Absolutely ‘no’,” he told News-Talk Radio Guyana/Demerara Waves Online News, when asked whether he slapped the opposition lawmaker. He later added in a statement that, “I emphatically and completely deny that I assaulted Ms.Halley as she has alleged or at all. At no time did I touch Ms. Halley with my phone or any part of my body,” he said. Mr. Mc Coy said he would be consulting his lawyers about the “malicious” allegation that was calculated to bring him into public ridicule. He admitted that he and Ms. Sarabo-Halley had a verbal exchange. “I observed the presence of Ms. Halley who was approximately four feet away from me. We exchanged words but there was absolutely no physical contact whatsoever,” he said.

Ms. Sarabo-Halley did not say who are the witnesses and what were the circumstances that led to the alleged assault.
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon said Ms. Sarabo-Halley was struck on her head with a phone by Mr. Mc Coy.

The claimed incident forced the suspension of the National Assembly’s consideration of estimates for the more than GYD$380 billion dollar budget after opposition lawmakers banged the desks to protest House Speaker Manzoor Nadir’s refusal for the Assembly to discuss the issue.

Mr. Nadir insisted that the committee of supply continue its work, despite requests by Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon and Opposition Chief Whip Christopher Jones that the allegation be treated immediately as urgent and important one.

“After the suspension, we’ll hear the comments about what has happened and then we’ll reconvene in an hour,” said Nadir. Mr. Jones then invoked the Standing Order that states that if 18 parliamentarians are standing and “we must be heard.”

After the House Speaker explained that only after the Assembly resumed from a committee of supply, then the 18 members could have stood and have the issue ventilated.

“This matter is not a light matter and we are requesting that the Assembly reconvene,” Jones said, adding that a female Parliamentarian was assaulted.

After the opposition parliamentarians banged their desks incessantly, the House Speaker suspended the sitting.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs told Demerara Waves Online News/News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM that surveillance video recordings were examined but nothing was seen as the area by the elevator is not covered by the cameras.

Mr. Isaacs said he, Prime Minister Mark Phillips, opposition parliamentarian Natasha Singh-Lewis, the Divisional Police Commander Mr. Pareshram all viewed the video recording.

https://demerarawaves.com

Last edited by Django

BREAKING NEWS: APNU+AFC disrupts Parliament, disrespects Speaker

https://youtu.be/EQ5v4STp27k

https://youtu.be/EQ5v4STp27k

Mar 3, 2021, Source - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ5v4STp27k


Video was from Government Controlled News Media .



Put an end to the vulgarity in Parliament – Ramkarran urges Nadir

https://guyana.hoop.la/topic/p...amkarran-urges-nadir

During his 35-minute presentation last Monday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton found time to deliver a series of attacks, one of which appeared to be homophobic.

“You must stop having that woman jump out of your body,” he appeared to tell a member on the opposition benches as he rose  to make his presentation. Later in the midst of his argument Hamilton applied descriptors to each of the Opposition members slated to speak, one member is labelled the author of corrupt land deals, another labelled “bangles, bed sheets and pillow cases”, a lady who wanted a “leaf bangle”, the man who bought “barber chairs and mirrors” and “then you will have profanity from the lady who jumps out of a man’s body regularly”. At no time was he admonished by the Speaker.

The last descriptor was welcomed by a loud cackle from a member of the government side of the House.

Later, Director-General of the Ministry of Health, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo displayed in the House a sex toy which he claimed was delivered to the rehabilitation centre instead of a requested chest vibrator.

How the sex toy and its requisition directly related to a debate on policies was not made clear but the politician argued that his colleagues on the other side of the House were somehow responsible for its purchase.

Last edited by Django
@Mitwah posted:



Fantastik Disinfectant Cleaner Industrial Size Refill, 3.8-Lbullshit. Open a tin can with shit. Nonsense in Bank Bullshit. Open a tin can with shit. Nonsense in Bank. Vector illustration bull poop stock illustrations

I think you mean Chamar school.

You are not supposed to alter my postings.  Is that the level of your intelligence?  You must come up with your own thoughts.  You can't hide behind Django's coattail forever.

@Ramakant-P posted:

Did you?

When I went to charm school, they taught me to say, "fantastic" instead of "bullshit".

@Mitwah posted:
@Ramakant-P posted:

Did you?

When I went to charm school, they taught me to say  consume, "fantastic" instead of "bullshit".

Fantastik Disinfectant Cleaner Industrial Size Refill, 3.8-Lbullshit. Open a tin can with shit. Nonsense in Bank Bullshit. Open a tin can with shit. Nonsense in Bank. Vector illustration bull poop stock illustrations

I think you mean Chamar school.

Mitwah .... NOTE !!!

It is unacceptable and not allowed for for a poster to alter the statement / post of another person.

Cease with this activity.

Demerara_Guy == Moderator

Opposition Chief Whip, other MPs suspended from today’s sitting following House protest

By Editor -, 0,   , Source - Guyana Standard - https://www.guyanastandard.com...owing-house-protest/

https://www.guyanastandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20210304_143111_0000.png

Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones, and several other Members of Parliament (MP) have been  suspended from today’s sitting of the House following protest action in the dome calling for the removal of a government minister from chamber business.

Jones, following the commencement of today’s session of the consideration of budget estimates, stood and requested the removal of the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy. The minister is being accused of hitting Opposition MP, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley yesterday. An investigation has since been launched into the alleged attack.

https://www.guyanastandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/mckoy-halley.jpg

In response to Jones’ request, the House Speaker, Manzoor Nadir, said that for the removal of an MP, a “propper motion needs to be brought for that to occur. Immediately after, Coalition MPs stood up and began hitting their desks.The Speaker called on Jones three times to take his seat.

https://www.guyanastandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Manzoor-Nadir-SPEAKER-NATIONAL-ASSEMBLY.jpg

“You’re going to be suspended for the rest of the sitting,” the speaker ruled after Jones refused to take his seat.

Opposition MP, Sherod Duncan has confirmed that at least two other MPs have been suspended. They are Amanza Walton-Desir and Natasha Singh-Lewis.

Thorough probe needed into alleged assault of Opposition Member – PM

https://i0.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/pjimage-40.jpg?resize=696%2C392&ssl=1L-R: Kwame McCoy and Tabitha Sarabo-Halley

Prime Minister Mark Phillips has called for a thorough investigation into claims made by Opposition Member of Parliament Tabitha Sarabo-Halley that she was assaulted by Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Kwame McCoy.

“We expect who’s conducting the investigation (to) be very objective. Utilise whatever camera footage is available to come to an objective conclusion. We have no reason to disbelieve Minister Kwame McCoy… We had a discussion with him and we have no reason to disbelieve him. As far as we’re concerned, he is sincere. However, this matter has to be investigated, and we have to get down to the truth,” PM Phillips has posited.

https://i0.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/WhatsApp-Image-2020-12-01-at-16.10.31.jpeg?w=640&ssl=1Prime Minister Mark Phillips

But Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, who said the police is currently investigating, says there might be no evidence of the altercation in the security footage. He said investigators will have to rely on eyewitnesses.

“Unfortunately, what that video footage showed was that there are some areas of the National Assembly that are not covered by the cameras… The video footage offers you evidence of what may have happened before and after,” Harmon noted during a virtual press conference.

https://i2.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Harmon-o05pemw47rrpj5w9yjh6cclgtdv0xk8plokyvax3jm.jpg?resize=642%2C420&ssl=1Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon

However, when pressed on who the eyewitnesses are – whether they were Coalition members or Parliament staff – Harmon refused to say.

Moreover, after he confirmed that MP Sarabo-Halley sought medical attention, the Opposition Leader further declined to share what that medical stated.

Meanwhile, he contended that the party would make a determination after the probe wraps up, most likely today, on whether it would continue to participate in the ongoing Consideration of the 2021 Budget Estimates.
According to the Opposition Leader, an apology would not be “sufficient”.

McCoy has since denied all claims that he assaulted Sarabo-Halley.

“At no time did I touch Ms. Halley with my phone or any part of my body. At the time in question, outside the Parliament Chamber, I had just completed a verbal exchange with Mr Keith Lowenfield, who attended the Committee of Supply. After Mr Lowenfield’s departure, I began to speak with Minister Anand Persaud. I observed the presence of Ms. Halley, who was approximately four feet away from me. We exchanged words, but there was absolutely no physical contact whatsoever,” McCoy detailed in a statement on Wednesday night.

The Minister went on to say that the allegation is “totally false, malicious, and intended to cause me embarrassment and public ridicule. I am seeking the advice of my attorneys-at-law on the way forward. I urge the Guyana Police Force to fully investigate this matter and institute the necessary charges against Ms. Halley, and I am prepared to prosecute any charges vigorously.”

There is a need for ---

-- Parliament

-- Speaker

-- Government members

-- Opposition members

-- Specific staff

-- etc., etc., etc..

No need for Opposition presence ,let the PPP/C run things .

Last edited by Django
@Django posted:

No need for Opposition presence ,let the PPP/C run things .

Should there be no need for the opposition members' presence, then perhaps they can stay away without pay, benefits and other perks as members of parliament.

Should there be no need for the opposition members' presence, then perhaps they can stay away without pay, benefits and other perks as members of parliament.

Sure they can ,the government can withdraw payments and benefits . There are no Democracy in that Country.

Last edited by Django