Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of crime Glenn Hackett says the investigation into the military operation at the doorstep of the Guardian Media Ltd building last Monday is ongoing. In a telephone interview yesterday Hackett said: “There are issues which still need to be ironed out.” He could not give a timeframe when that would be completed. When contacted acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams also said investigations were continuing.
Last Monday soldiers parked outside the entrance of the T&T Guardian and ventured into the car park asking about a parked vehicle while a man they wanted to question for the murder of Lance Cpl Kayode Thomas was being interviewed inside the building. Thomas, a father of eight, was shot dead on June 29 at Plaisance Quarry Road, John John. The suspect, identified as Dillon “Bandy” Skeete, met with a T&T Guardian reporter on Monday.
A series of incidents took place shortly before the meeting.Armed soldiers went to the Queen Street car park of the newspaper and questioned the security guard and another member of staff about a parked red Mazda car. As the interview was ending, around 3.10 pm, an unidentified man telephoned the T&T Guardian operator and said there was a bomb in the building and it would blow up if “you all don’t ----ing come out.” By then Skeete had left the building. A senior soldier then telephoned an editor saying he had heard a man who soldiers were looking for was in the building.
The building was evacuated for over two hours as police searched it. News operations at the media house was disrupted. At a press conference last week Williams assured that the matter would be thoroughly investigated. The issue also sparked concerns about soldiers overstepping their bounds in Laventille. Williams in a press conference last week said it was illegal for soldiers for go on patrols and on operations without the police and instructed police to arrest those in breach of the law. A spokesman from the Regiment’s Military Investigations Unit said there were several reports made by civilians of beatings by soldiers but these had to be properly investigated.