Guyanese government announces plans to establish Witness Protection programme

Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman

The government has announced plans to establish a Witness Protection programme.

Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that a Witness Protection Bill is currently before a cabinet sub-committee and will be tabled in Parliament shortly.

“The Witness Protection Bill will establish a programme for the protection of witnesses who give evidence in the courts of Guyana. The legislation will establish a program for the protection of witnesses and their families -against intimidation and or physical harm – during and after their involvement in court proceedings,” said Trotman.

He said several of the measures will be incorporated into the programme, inclusive of the provision of new identities and new housing arrangements.

Trotman added that the initiative would see Guyana cooperating with other countries in the region that have already implemented such a programme.

“This is really more of a CARICOM crime and security initiative. Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados have already started working with each other where they move witnesses…before during and after trials within each other’s countries and I have no doubt that Guyana will avail itself to the opportunity to do so,” he stated.

With respect to support from international counties, Trotman revealed that the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative will play an important role.

 

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