Former opposition leader and prime minister, Basdeo Panday, has told the commission of enquiry into the coup d'etat that he was in no way involved in the event and has no documentation on it.Panday, whose name figured prominently in the first session of the hearings which ended yesterday, further informed the commission that he did not think the scope of its missive included his views, which were personal.
Panday was expelled, along with other UNC members, from the National Alliance for Reconstruction government in 1988.Then prime minister, Arthur NR Robinson, while giving evidence before the commission recently, said Panday afterward sought to bring down his government.Panday made his statement to the commission yesterday in reply to two letters sent to him by secretariat, Laraine Lutchmedial.
The letters to Panday allegedly stated that it had come to the commission's attention that he might be a person who might have information, documentation and/or views which might be of inestimable value to them.Panday replied that he was at a loss to know who gave them such information."It is public knowledge that at the time this incident occurred, I was at home recovering from open heart surgery and was in no way involved in its aftermath or precursor events," he said.
He further stated that he begged to disagree that the commission's letter to him constituted an invitation. He said it merely provided information.He disclosed, however, that he had no objection to appearing before the commission if he was summoned to do so.Panday told the secretariat that he noticed that a great deal of hearsay, and in some cases, hearsay upon hearsay, evidence was being admitted by the commission.