Vendor’s murderThirty-two-year-old Roy Stanford of ‘A’ Field, Sophia, alleged mastermind in the shooting death of Bourda Market cheese vendor Troy Ramalho, committed on August 15 during the course of a robbery, was on Friday remanded to prison after being arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge of murder.Late last month, two other men who are also said to be implicated in the murder were remanded to jail.During Friday’s court hearing, taxi driver George Patron told the court he was not a part of the heinous crime that was committed, and that he was only a taxi driver who was hired to take the men to the location.The trio are expected to make their next court appearance on September 24.Reports are that, after the killing, Patron allegedly admitted to investigators that he had transported Morris and two other men to the scene of the robbery.The taxi driver reportedly told Police he had picked up the men at Stabroek, Georgetown, and they had asked him to drive to Robb Street, Georgetown.He claimed he was told to wait for the men to return, and was instructed to park on Alexander Street, between Regent Street and North Road.According to him, after the men had excited the vehicle, he heard gunshots, after which they came running towards the car. He reportedly told Police the following day he was given $40,000 by the men, who are known to him.
By Devina SamarooPresident David Granger has completely disregarded calls made by the Alliance For Change (AFC) for the powers entrusted to Minister of State Joseph Harmon to be reduced, noting that his duties and responsibilities are not at all too burdensome.The AFC, the smaller partner in the A Partnership for National Unity/AFC coalition Government, believes that too much authority has been given to Minister Harmon.In this regard, the party called for Harmon’s powers to be trimmed. The AFC had explained that the concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of the Presidential Secretariat in a single person is a matter of concern and that in fact, the powers should be separated.Responding to these demands, President Granger appeared to be in full support of the duties and responsibilities assigned to Minister Harmon.“I don’t think that they are so burdensome that he cannot take all three responsibilities. I am standing by the duties which were assigned to him last May and this is what we have been working with for the last 11 months and this is what was explained to the Cabinet retreat in January,” the President said.He also posited that he was surprised that the AFC now seemed to find fault in the distribution of duties and responsibilities among Cabinet members.“We had a retreat of the Cabinet earlier this year and we put out a very clear statement on the responsibilities of all 14 Ministers and the Ministry of the Presidency. So there is a book and it is stated, and nobody made any objections to the duties which were assigned to the Minister of State then and it would be surprising that after two months, people feel that the duties are being misused or they need to be trimmed,” he explained.Notwithstanding his firm position in defence of Minister Harmon, the President said the matter would be extensively discussed when Cabinet meets today.“I have to wait to find out from our colleagues what they actually mean, but as far as I am concerned, there is no overburdening of the Ministry and I don’t see what powers they need to be reduced,” he stated.