COI hears former PM, minister tried to convince mine owner ‘Fineman’ gang was responsible for Lindo Creek massacre
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, March 15, 2018
As the investigation into the Lindo Creek Massacre continued today, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) heard that former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds and Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee had sought to convince mine owner Lennox Arokium that it was the ‘Fineman’ gang that killed the miners.
Appearing before the commission was Courtney Wong, older brother of murdered miner Clifton Wong.
Courtney, who is a self-employed mechanic, told the Commission that he would normally travel to Lindo creek to conduct mechanical work. However, in June of 2008, it was his brother Clifton who took his place because of the workload he had.
“I could only recall when I met him when he was going to Lindo Creek in the space for me because I had a lot of work on my hands and couldn’t make it, so he fit in for that,” Wong told Commission’s lawyer, Patrice Henry.
Courtney said he heard of the deaths when mine owner, Lennox Arokium called him frantically with the news. “They kill all them boy man, they kill all them boy,” Arokium had told Wong over the phone. Courtney said the news was later confirmed it when he visited another of Arokium’s son that same day.
According to the Courtney, during a later telephone conversation with Arokium, he was told that the then Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, and Commissioner 0f Police, Henry Greene tried to convince Arokium that it was the ‘Fineman’ gang that carried out the killing. The trio had visited Arokium’s Meten-Meer-Zorg home a few days after the murder.
“I got a second call from Arokium. He telling me that Henry Greene and the Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister went over by him and tried to convince him that ‘Fineman’ gang did this and he blatantly told them he doesn’t believe in that.”
Wong said he acted as a guide for the police officials in locating the mining camp, where he said they found a devastating sight. He recalled seeing human bones and skulls piled upon each other. He also observed that a particular police officer had, later in the day, announced that he found three spent shells, although the 15-man team did not find any when they combed the area upon their arrival.
“When we reached the kitchen, it was in a disarray. Everything that was purchased was scattered all over. We proceeded not too far away to the sleeping quarters. We kept walking alongside the camp that’s where we discovered the heap with some bones.”
He said when he landed at the site, there were soldiers guarding the area. He described their presence as something strange.
The COI, which is being headed by Chairman, Justice Donald Trotman, will continue on Thursday, March 22.
By: Alexis Rodney