GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 29, 2019 (CMC) – The United States, today, condemned the Guyana coalition government’s — A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)-Alliance for Change (AFC) — resolution, approved by the National Assembly, here, that paid tribute to former APNU legislator, Abdul Kadir, who died in a United States prison, after he was convicted on terrorism-related charges, there.
The main opposition, the Peoples’ Progressive Party-Civic (PPP-C) was not present in parliament, having boycotted it, until the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling, on the Appeal Court’s judgement that the no-confidence motion, passed in December, last year, was invalid.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Guyana, said that government legislators had chosen “to honour a man, who conspired to kill innocent people from across the United States and around the world”.
“This resolution is an insensitive and thoughtless act, which demonstrates the National Assembly’s disregard for the gravity of Kadir’s actions,” Washington said.
The PPP-C had also condemned the resolution, saying that the use of the National Assembly, the country’s highest decision-making body, to honour the former APNU legislator “is another act of betrayal of democracy and the rule of law, as it is clearly not reflective of the will of the people”.
Legislators of the coalition government, last Friday, approved the motio tabled by Junior Minister of Agriculture, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, who said “the people of Linden and Guyana have lost a great man, a stalwart, a bold and courageous man”.
“I ask this parliament, this National Assembly, that we direct an expression of its sympathy be conveyed to his sorrowing widow, children, grandchildren and relatives,” she told parliament, in reference to Kadir, who served as a legislator, here, from 2001 to 2006.
Kadir, a chemical engineer, was also a former Mayor of Linden, from 1994 to 1996, an engineer in the bauxite industry and the Guyana Water Inc. and member of the bipartisan parliamentary Natural Resources Committee.
Kadir, who had been arrested in Trinidad and Tobago, died in a US prison, on June 28, last year. He was convicted and sentenced in the United States in 2010, along with three other elderly men, for plotting to blow up gas pipelines at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport.
Throughout his trial, and even after being convicted, he maintained his innocence and repeatedly said he was wrongly accused and wrongfully convicted. The US government had used the services of a drug convict informant as its key witness during the trial.
In its statement, the US Embassy noted that Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch had, while speaking at an International Peace Conference, recently, held up Guyana as “a model to the world on religious tolerance and understanding”.
“The National Assembly’s resolution of April 26 draws into question that reputation,” it said, adding that it also comes on the heels of Guyana’s historic cooperation with the United States on the extradition of an alleged murderer.
Washington said that the Members of Parliament have placed this resolution, in direct contradiction to the efforts of security cooperation between the two countries.
“With this resolution, honouring a convicted terrorist, members of Guyana’s National Assembly have left a stain on their legacy as representatives of the Guyanese people, and on their commitment to the rule of law”, the Embassy statement said.