Ranks of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) are continuing with further
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum
investigations into the death of activist Courtney Crum-Ewing, as requested by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers, in relation to instituting charges against four new suspects.
Two weeks ago, CID ranks arrested People’s Progressive Party (PPP) employee Jason Abdulla, PPP Executive Member and former Press Officer Kwame McKoy, Okene Fraser and self-confessed death squad member Sean Hinds; all of whom the Police believe had a role in the activist’s death, which occurred on March 10, 2015.
Head of the CID Wendell Blanhum, told Guyana Times on Tuesday that these ‘further’ investigations are still ongoing. “We are still conducting further investigations,” he said while opting not to divulge further details.
On Thursday last, the Crime Chief disclosed that the file was sent to the DPP’s Chambers for advice on whether charges should be instituted against the four suspects; however, the file was returned with instructions to conduct further investigations.
“The file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and having perused those statements in that file, they would have advised that we conduct some further investigations,” he told reporters.
Nevertheless, the Crime Chief indicated that the Police are hoping to conclude the additional investigation as early as possible, in order to have the files returned to the DPP for advice.
The four suspects were subsequently recalled at the CID Headquarters and further questioned on Wednesday last.
According to Blanhum, these four suspects were arrested in light of new information that surfaced in relation to Crum-Ewing’s murder. However, he explained that investigators were unable to complete the probe.
“The investigation would have been triggered due to some new developments where we would have received further information, and as a result of that, they had arrested those guys. We had them in custody but because of the complex nature of that investigation, time did not permit us to complete that investigation,” he stated.
Following their arrests, the four suspects were released from Police custody on their own recognisance and have been reporting to the Police to assist with the investigations.
Crum-Ewing, a 40-year-old ex-soldier, was gunned down execution-style on March 10, 2015, while urging residents of the Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara to go out and cast their ballots during the May 11 General and Regional Elections.
An autopsy revealed that Crum-Ewing was shot five times – three bullets to the head, one to the back of the neck while the fifth entered under one of his arms. All the bullets were fired from behind and at close range except the one that hit under his arm and exited his shoulder.
It was also reported that the bullet wound to the back of the man’s neck was at point-blank range and gunpowder residue was found on the back of the collar of the shirt he was wearing. Two .38 warheads were removed from the dead man’s head, reports revealed.
Following the death of the man who rose to popularity after picketing former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall’s office, Reagan Rodrigues, also called “Grey Boy”, was arrested and charged for his murder. Nandlall’s former bodyguard, Rajput Narine, was also arrested as investigations were ongoing.