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Hamilton Gas Station killing
Crime Chief denies giving attorney permission to remove tape

Crime Chief, Leon Trim, has denied a claim by attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes that he was the officer at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who gave permission for Hughes to keep the surveillance tape from the
Hamilton Gas Station.


      Leon Trim                 Nigel Hughes


Controversy has built over the propriety of Hughes, the President of the Guyana Bar Association, removing the tape from the gas station where Brian Hamilton was shot and killed on March 21.
In response to the concerns, the lawyer, who said he was not commenting on the appropriateness of him removing the tape, said that he was given permission from the officer at the crime scene and a senior officer at CID.
However, the police then issued a release stating that the senior police officer at the crime scene denied having granted Hughes permission and all senior officers at CID Headquarters also denied Hughes had spoken to them that afternoon.


The release had stated that the senior police officer at the crime scene had told Hughes that he needed the tape and asked for it, but the lawyer refused to hand over the tape, saying that he could not give it to him immediately and indicated that he would hand it over to the police at Vigilance on his return, sometime later in the afternoon.
But in a subsequent release and letter, Hughes stated that after the tape was ejected from the recorder he made a request to the officer for copies to be made and he was given permission.
“Permission was given by the officer in charge to make copies of the tape and to deliver them to the police.”
Hughes said he had telephoned Trim and had spoken on several issues including the delivery of a copy of the tape to CID at Police Headquarters the following day, instead of at Cove & John Police Station.
He said Trim had told him that he would be expecting the tape the following morning.
However, contacted yesterday Trim said that Hughes had never spoken to him about any tape. He told Stabroek News that when the lawyer contacted him he spoke to him about Hamilton’s body being placed in a body bag and he had denied the request stating that the police relied on the integrity of the funeral parlour.
He said it was later that he learnt from the force that Hughes had the tape and he made several calls to Hughes’ office but could not contact him and as such he left several messages.
Trim said that Hughes only spoke to him on the Monday morning informing him that he was bringing in the tape which he did later.
In his release Hughes said that the Saturday after the incident he had visited Eve Leary but was told that Trim was not there and he decided not to leave the tape with a junior rank.
“I do not know the home numbers of police officers, senior or other ranks. I returned to CID Eve Leary on Monday the 24th day of March 2003 at 8:15 am and delivered a copy of the tape to Mr Trim personally.”
The release further added that the tape was at the service station for several hours after the departure of the police without any request from the police for delivery of the tape.  


Friday April 17, 2003