judge ruled that the document would be admitted but only
specific parts would be allowed to be read or referred to. This
was done in the absence of the 14 jurors.
When the jurors filed into the courtroom, Judge Gleeson told
them that he would be cutting them some slack as the defence and
the prosecutor will wrap up today. He told the jurors they will
have three days off and the court will resume on Monday for
summations and his charge
The court was told that Simels in the letter to President Jagdeo,
sought help to obtain documents of the army operation in Buxton,
and police files relating to the investigation into the deaths
of Donald Allison and Dave Persaud.
David Clarke, Gordon Benn and
were involved in removing of the decapitated
bodies of slain cane cutters
He was also seeking the President’s assistance
in any court documents relating to any of the potential
witnesses who were on the US Government’s list to testify
against Roger Khan.
Yesterday, too, the Prosecution once again brought out 18
photographs and asked Simels to identify the persons. He was
able to identify Gerald Pereira, Paul and Ricardo Rodrigues,
Leslyn Comacho, Sean Belfield, Fredroy Willabus, Barry Dataram
and Clay Hutson.
He said that Pereira, Paul Rodrigues called Paulo and Belfield
worked for Khan.
He denied knowing that the Rodrigues were related. He said that
he spoke with Dataram but never met Willabus.
Simels admitted under cross-examination that when he spoke with
Dataram called Kevin Mogatani or Ledge. Dataram was out from
prison on bail and that he had since not returned to the court
Deliberations could start by Tuesday.
Just after that it got rather heated when Simels was being cross
examined by the prosecuting Attorney Stephen D’Alessandro.
D’Alessandro’s question was whether or not Simels was aware
that it was a criminal offence to attempt to bribe a witness and
requested a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Simels attempted to
give an explanation.
After about three tries the attorney appealed to the judge who
instructed that Simels give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer..
The same thing happened again shortly after and the Judge asked
that the jury be removed from the courtroom and in their
absence, literally read the riot act to Simels.
“Do you understand my instruction? Your career and liberty are
at stake. I understand emotions are running high. I will not put
up with this any longer. You are not abiding with my instructions.
I will step on you in front of the jury and that will not help
When the matter resumed yesterday morning Simels continued on
the stand and was led by his counsel Shargel.
explained that the laptops were shipped by him to his law office
but that the base which later turned out to be the transmitter
was shipped to him by ex-policemen and one of Roger Khan’s
employees, Paul Rodrigues, called Paulo. (These items were all
in the courtroom in full view of all assembled.)
Simels told the court that Roger Khan told him that he “hardwired”
the then Police Commissioner Winston
Felix’s phone and was able to
record all his telephone calls and produced transcripts.
said that he never saw the equipment used by Khan to hardwire
the system. He said, too, that he did not see any of the
transcripts made of the Felix’s conversations.
Simels told the court that after one of his trips to Guyana he
met with the US Government cooperating witness, Selwyn Vaughn,
He said that he gave Selwyn Vaughn US$1,000 for travel and
incidental expenses since Vaughn was to locate potential
witnesses but that the money was not for a testimony from
He recalled after being shown transcripts of notes he made after
travelling to Guyana that there was an informer who lived in
He told the court
that the man informed him that David Clarke, Gordon Benn and
Edward Collins were involved in removing of the decapitated
bodies of slain cane cutters from the front of the village to
the backlands and that the same men, then serving members of the
GDF, gave the Buxton group that were identified as the Taliban,
Simels did not refer to Collins as the then Chief of staff of
He said, too, that the informer resigned from the army in
September 2007 and went to Suriname where he linked up with
He added that he wanted the informer to testify on the things he
saw in Buxton. Simels said that he began to seek confirmation of
the things that the informer said. He also made reference to a
map that the informer made.
Simels told the court that one week prior to his arrival in
Guyana he was told by Khan’s men that Buxton gunmen had
entered a city hotel and slaughtered several people.
All through Simels’s testimony following objections from the
prosecution the judge advised the jury that not everything that
Roger Khan told Simels were to be believed.
He however explained that he was allowing the testimony because
he wanted the jury to be able to consider his state of mind
which led him to do certain things at certain times.
when questioned about his involvement with Selwyn Vaughn, said
that he believed that Vaughn was taking him for a ride. Under
cross examination he said that he paid him the US$1,000 because
his client Khan had asked that he did so.
According to Simels, he wanted all witnesses to be able to
testify since if any harm befalls the relative of a witness, or
if the witness dies, the testimony could be used in the court
and the defence would not be able to cross examine to ensure the
veracity of the statement.
In one of the redacted document that was admitted to evidence,
there was the transcript of a conversation between Simels and
Khan where Khan is telling Simels to have Paul Rodrigues collect
the money from one of his ‘buddies’ and that the person had
said that he did not have the full amount because he was getting
it in installments.
The issue came up once in the court as transcripts where Khan
kept being asked by Simels for payments for service rendered by
his law firm and the payment agreements were not being honoured.
In the courtroom various pieces of evidence were shown on large
screen, computer monitors as well as side screens where they
could be seen, read, and/or have notes taken. Many of the jurors
did exactly that.
As usual the courtroom was packed to overflowing. Few wanted to
leave their seats during breaks, for fear that they would no
longer be available. Most in the courtroom were lawyers, many of
them seasoned practitioners.
Simels’s case has attracted so much interest in the court
circuit that even Judge Dora Irizarry, who is to sentence
Shaheed Roger Khan in November, slipped into the packed
courtroom to hear the testimony.
The court will reconvene on Monday morning.
Thursday, August 06,