By Constantinos PsillidesTwo men from Nicosia, 22 and 24, were remanded on Thursday, each for four days in connection with two bomb attacks against referees.They were arrested in their respective homes during early morning simultaneous raids.According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, the two suspects are believed to be part of the organisation ‘Thyraeniotes’, a reference to Thyra 9, or Gate 9 in English – the main fan group of Nicosia side Omonia – or armed urban guerrillas.The group assumed the responsibility for the explosive devices placed on referee Vasilis Demetriou’s wife’s car on February 27, and at the referee association offices in October last year in a public proclamation on March 5.This had been left at the steps of the old GSP stadium in Nicosia for MEGA TV reporter Panayiotis Demopoulos who had been contacted by an individual identifying himself only as member of the organisation, and he was given instructions on how to retrieve the proclamation.Police found that the number belonged to a pre-paid phone card that was bought from a kiosk in the Pallouriotissa area of Nicosia, on March 3. CCTV cameras placed the 22-year-old at the kiosk the day the card was bought. The two suspects appear to have called each other on their mobiles that day.Officers said they found a copy of the proclamation with notes in the 22-year-old’s house. During the raid at the 24-year-old’s house, police found a gas mask and a taser.In the proclamation, the organisation had also declared war against corruption in Cypriot football. They also ranted against DISY politicians, Cyprus Football Federation chairman Kostakis Koutsokoumnis and the current management of the football club Omonia. The suspects are facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, attempting to destroy property using an explosive device, and taking part in a criminal organisation.
By Nick MulvenneyWayde van Niekerk lit up the Bird’s Nest with a stunning 400 metres run to win a first sprint gold for South Africa and cap a night of exceptional performances at the World Athletics Championships on Wednesday.Two of those came in the men’s javelin and women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase where Kenyans Julius Yego and Hyvin Jepkemoi added another two gold medals to the East African powerhouse’s already considerable haul.The scourge of doping returned to haunt the sport, however, when two of their compatriots were provisionally banned for failing drug tests on the eve of the championships.Part two of the sprint showdown between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin, which for many has encapsulated the doping crisis that has tarnished the sport over the last month, also moved a step closer.The fact that Bolt has never failed a dope test while Gatlin has served two drug bans provided the backdrop for their first meeting in Sunday’s 100 metres final, from which the Jamaican emerged triumphant.Gatlin’s run of 19.87 seconds to win his 200m semi-final on Wednesday was the second fastest ever at that stage of a world championships, however, and will give him confidence he can end Bolt’s six-year grip on the title in Thursday’s final.“I think that I have a lot left in the tank,” the 33-year-old American said. “I just have to control the race … and I think we’ll be able to bring it home.”Bolt also looked in fine form, though, and took time to chat to a fellow competitor as he approached the line to win his heat with his first sub-20 second time of the year (19.95).“I can’t complain,” he said. “I’m happy with my form. I just did what I had to do.”For once, though, the 29-year-old was not the most impressive performer on the track with that honour going to Van Niekerk.Racing against a field containing a record five sprinters who had run under 44 seconds, the 23-year-old dominated the contest from start to finish and crossed the line in 43.48 seconds.The effort of running a time that only American world record holder Michael Johnson and his compatriots Butch Reynolds and Jeremy Wariner have bettered took its toll, however.Van Niekerk collapsed on the track at the end of the race and was taken to hospital with his “vital signs unstable”, the IAAF’s medical delegate said, leaving runner-up LaShawn Merritt to hail the quality of the race.“It’s crazy. We’re warriors. We’re animals,” said the American 2013 world champion, whose personal best 43.65 was good enough only for silver ahead of Olympic champion Kirani James (43.78).Van Niekerk was discharged just before midnight local time.While Van Niekerk’s time was the best since 2007, you would have to go back as far as 2001 to witness a javelin flying as far as the 92.72 metres Yego managed to give Kenya its first world title in a field event.To the diminutive Yego, who learned the javelin from watching videos on the internet after being rejected as a runner, fell the duty of reacting to the positive dope tests of his team-mates Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary.“It’s a shame,” he said. “I always believe we can win clean so it’s a shame to them.”Jepkemoi produced a performance more typical of her nation to win the steeplechase, outsprinting favourite Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia and German Gesa Krause down the home straight to win Kenya’s sixth gold in nine minutes, 19.11 seconds.Zuzana Hejnova already knew her race was won when she went over the final obstacle in the 400 metres hurdles and the Czech, who ran the year’s best time of 53.50 seconds, became the first woman to successfully defend the world title in the event.A thrilling women’s pole vault contest featuring Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, Brazil’s Fabiana Murer and Greece’s Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou kept the crowd engrossed all evening in the gaps between the other events.Silva took the title when she cleared 4.90 metres at the third attempt, leaving Murer, one of her country’s best hopes of gold in athletics at next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, with silver and Kyriakopoulou claiming the bronze.
Games for the men’s premier, women’s and men’s reserve division will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Amini Park, Kilakila, Tubusereia and Vabukori.All games in the men’s premier division will be held at Amini with lots of action guaranteed for fans.On Saturday, Pure Water Raukele take on IBS Poreporena at 10.30am, followed by the main game at 2.30pm where Dulux United will go up against Hoods.Scheduled matches for Sunday are between Badili Hardware Wanderers and Pari. Pacific MMI Coasters and Big Rooster Kempa will play the main game.
Dear Editor,Over the years, I have, as a Hindu, seen in Freddie Kissoon a level of divinity that many will find laughable. After all, the same man who defends the down trodden swiftly with his pen shreds to pieces anyone who disagrees with him. The one whose opinion is a light in the dark world of the oppressed can also dispel his own brand of vitriol, protected by a newspaper (that is) liberal with facts, and a legal system that has no regard for expedient application of libel and slander laws. Therefore Kissoon “gets away with it”.Kissoon’s “Aksharananda gets a taste of his own medicine” can be challenging to read, especially because he equates a man who preaches God in all, even Freddie, to a Christian Missionary who sees the devil in Hindus. Swami Aksharanada and others mentioned in the referenced piece − Hindu Ravi Dev, Muslim Rihaan Shah and others − who also speak for the oppressed, should be evaluated the same way: Is it the truth? Is it the Eternal Truth? Sanathan Dharma is Hinduism which has survived all eras known to man, even the time of Freddie Kissoon.Sincerely,S Persaud
Hundreds of sympathizers of detained talk show host, Henry Costa, described as “disappointing” Judge Peter Gbeneweleh’s decision to postpone his ruling on whether or not to release Costa. At yesterday’s hearing, the courtroom of Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice was overcrowded with many people expecting to witness Judge Gbeneweleh ordering the Liberia National Police (LNP) to release from further detention Mr. Costa, who was arrested on Saturday, February 7.To their great disappointment, however, Judge Gbeneweleh announced he was unable to come down with any order because he did not prepare a written judgment in a writ of “Habeas Corpus,” that compelled authorities of the LNP to surrender Costa to the court.“The court has heard the argument between the parties; and we can’t make any ruling (judgment), because it is not written and we have been advised by the Supreme Court not to make any unwritten ruling,” the Criminal Court ‘C’ judge clarified.He added, I’m going to reserve it for Thursday, February 12, at which time, I would have completed it.” He concluded by instructing the Sheriffs of the court to “take care of Costa until the Thursday’s judgment. Matter is suspended.” Prior to that action, Judge Gbeneweleh listened to arguments between Costa’s legal team, headed by Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, and those of the state about the writ. A writ of habeas corpus (court order) commands an individual or a government official, who has restrained another to produce the prisoner at a designated time and place so that the court can determine the legality of custody and decide whether to order the prisoner’s release. It also directs a person, usually a prison warden, to produce the prisoner and justify the prisoner’s detention. If the prisoner argues successfully that the incarceration is in violation of a constitutional right, the court may order the prisoner’s release. Interestingly, the Sheriff, in whose care Judge Gbeneweleh placed Costa, is an employee of the Ministry of Justice which opted for his prosecution. However, Costa is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Police, but that of the Court. Many feared that he would be kept at the notorious Monrovia Central Prison to await the ruling. However, Cllr. Gongloe told the Daily Observer yesterday that Costa was signed for by his legal counsel, to go home and reappear on Thursday, February 12, for the court’s ruling. In their argument, Cllr. Gongloe said that defendant Costa had been detained beyond the constitutional period of 48 hours. He further argued that Costa has not been charged by the police, and besides he had been denied access to a lawyer, as provided for under the law. In his counter argument, Cllr. Daku Mulbah, County Attorney for Montserrado County said that the police had not completed their investigation of Costa. “We are still conducting an investigation into the matter, therefore, we could not formally charge Costa,” Cllr. Mulbah told the court. Giving details of Costa’s arrest, Cllr. Mulbah explained that he was arrested because he had earlier refused when he was invited by the police and has been escaping from justice, contrary to reports that he was arrested, because he broke the 12a.m to 6a.m curfew imposed by the government. Cllr. Mulbah said, “It is not because he broke the curfew; it is because he failed to attend an invitation from the police to appear before it and to make some clarity on the case of Sam Fawah, a Lebanese national.” Sam is one of the owners of the SSF Construction Company, operating in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,I believe that Guyana needs our prayers and that we need to unite. That was my first comment last night. But I will not allow Khemraj Ramjattan to get away with his abominable attack on sugar and sugar workers. He must apologise immediately to the sugar workers.Ramjattan in his first appearance as the catastrophic event at the Camp Street Prison escalated last night, defended himself by blaming sugar. It was the dumbest, most ludicrous thing I have heard yet from this Government. This Minister, who is the highest paid Public Security Minister, when he did appear hours after the crisis had escalated, took time to blame poor sugar workers and to take a side-swipe at the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He claimed he needed more money for his Ministry, but the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) could not invest enough money into the Ministry because the money was diverted to sugar.Ramjattan’s first response was another betrayal of sugar workers. He did not admit that sugar was being repaid for the more than $100 billion taken from sugar in the 1970s and 1980s. He ignored the almost $35 billion (almost $10 billion since 2015) sugar brought into the Consolidated Fund from the European Union as earnings from the sugar protocol. He ignored sugar’s expenditure on drainage and irrigation and on recreation, housing, water, street developments and health. Sugar did not get a handout under the PPP or under APNU/AFC.His attack on sugar was reprehensible, repugnant and an absolute betrayal from someone who persuaded sugar workers before 2015 that he was one of their champions. This is a man who promised sugar workers a 20 per cent increase, no sugar estate would be closed and in its time of difficulty he would ensure that his Government provides repayments to Guyana Sugar Corporation to help it cope with its difficulties.Now that some of those sugar workers took him at his word and gave him and APNU/AFC a chance to govern, he blames them for his incompetence. The call for Ramjattan’s resignation is justifiable. Sugar is innocent and has nothing to do with what happened at Camp Street on Sunday.Ramjattan disgraced and humiliated himself even as the security forces, including the prison officers, Police and firemen, were heroically saving lives of prisoners and protecting people. Given the magnitude of the fire and the threat of prisoners on the loose, the security forces must be commended for the herculean task of rescuing and gathering the prisoners and at the same time preventing the fire from engulfing civilian buildings in the neighbourhood. Their professionalism and efficiency were in stark contrast to the ineptitude displayed by their political leadership.Whatever happen in the aftermath of the July 2017 Camp Street Prison fire, including the inevitable CoI, Ramjattan’s leadership was palpably weak, flawed, incompetent and egregious. He disgraced and humiliated himself, was flailing like a beached whale, desperate, hopeless and clutching at a straw.There could not be a greater reason for resignation than another deadly fire at the Camp Street Prison so soon. David Granger and his PNC and APNU colleagues when they were in Opposition demanded the resignation of Clement Rohee for a deadly protest that APNU and AFC started and stirred. Worst yet, the most vocal person that called for Rohee’s resignation, not just for the deadly Linden protest, but for every road fatality, was Ramjattan. If the cap fits you, wear it. The cap fits Ramjattan. If he applies the standards he passionately advocated for Rohee, he will resign now.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammy
─ Cop’s file with DPPThe late pedestrian who over the weekend was fatally struck down by a vehicle driven by a police rank while escorting an injured colleague to hospital remains unidentified.A reliable source disclosed on Tuesday that the case file is with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who will soon determine if charges would be laid against the police constable whose vehicle had struck the pedestrian in the wee hours of Sunday morning while the victim was crossing the Public Road atThe Allion motor car, PPP 8497, that struck the pedestrian at Soesdyke, EBDSoesdyke, East Bank Demerara (EBD). The pedestrian had sustained severe head injuries, and was picked up and placed in another vehicle with the previously injured police rank, and both were taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre. But en route to the EBD facility, medical personnel had pronounced the unidentified man dead.Guyana Times understands that, once the DPP consents, the policeman will be charged in the new week. The first accident occurred on the Timehri Public Road, EBD when Constable Gavin Gentle lost control of his motorcar, PTT 5444, and it crashed into a utility pole. The constable implicated in the pedestrian’s death had arrived on scene and was in the process of transporting Constable Gentle for medical attention in his privately owned motorcar, Toyota Allion PPP 8497, when he struck down the man.It was claimed by police that just before the fatal accident, the Allion motor car of the implicated constable was being escorted by a police vehicle with flashing lights and sounding siren. According to information received, the driver of PPP 8497 had allegedly swerved from the pedestrian, who was said to be in the centre of the road, but he was struck down by the constable’s car. The driver of PPP 8497 had been detained, and tests reportedly revealed that no alcohol was traced on his breath. The dead man’s body is currently at the Lyken Funeral Parlour.Investigations into both matters are continuing.
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Transfer deadline day has been and gone, and with it came a host of new arrivals to the Premier League. Plus some new players.Who better to assess the influx of Premier League WAGs than those stalwarts of English football’s top division, John Terry and Ryan Giggs.Take a look at the vids below, as JT and Giggsy get their score cards out.Some might say, they are more generous than Steven Gerrard in possession against Chelsea.And yes, it is a slow news day. Thanks for the international break, Sepp – it’s not like Falcao, Di Maria, Costa, Sanchez and Balotelli have just arrived in the Premier League.*DISCLAIMER: These ratings have absolutely nothing to do with John Terry and Ryan Giggs. They’d probably give each lovely lady a 10.PART ONEPART TWO 1
1 Steve Bruce Hull City manager Steve Bruce has insisted he was pleased his side showed character in their clash against Manchester City, despite seeing them lose 4-2 at the KC Stadium.The Tigers were two goals down inside 12 minutes but were able to get back on level terms through an Eliaquim Mangala own goal and an Abel Hernandez penalty.This response left Bruce feeling content even though two more goals from their opponents saw them vanquished on home soil.“We had an awful 10-15 minutes at the start and it shows character that they rolled their sleeves up and got back into it,” he said.“For a good hour after that it could have gone either way. We weren’t quite good enough but we gave it a right good go and against a quality team like them that’s all you can ask for.“City are a class act. They want to go and beat you, they want to go and give every team a hammering and they’ve got the players to go that.“Sergio Aguero, Edin Dezeko and David Silva, in particular, are wonderful footballers and they’ll give every team problems.”