BELMOPAN, Cayo District, Fri. Jan. 5, 2018– Following today’s special sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow weighed in on recent developments surrounding the controversial killing of popular barber, Fareed Ahmad, 39.
In our last edition of the Amandala, we had reported that text messages have surfaced suggesting that Fareed’s brother, Abdul Ahmad, had been threatened by the police’s Special Assignment Team (SAT).
We note that Woman Police Constable (WPC) Michelle Brown, 24, who was charged with Fareed’s murder, was a member of the SAT.
When asked to comment, PM Barrow confirmed he had seen the text messages, but was not certain of their authenticity.
“I have seen some text messages, the authenticity of which is being questioned. I spoke personally to Chester Williams [Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)], who is in charge of the investigation, and he was very, very concerned about the text messages and certainly determined to get to the bottom of that issue,” said Barrow.
He added, “Just today, he [Chester] provided me with examples of the apps that can be used to create fake text messages. And so, in his view, really, until we are able to get some sort of a court order, that would allow an examination of the relevant appropriate telephone records, he has to suspend judgment.”
According to the Prime Minister, he is confident that Williams, who heads the police Professional and Standards Branch, will conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Ahmad.
He explained, “Chester is no doubt, in my mind, absolutely determined to do a comprehensive investigation. He’s determined for there not to be any slip-ups. He’s determined not to cover over anything; and so I am satisfied that we’re in good hands with respect to his custody of the investigation.”
When the media asked if there would be no independent investigation as had been requested by the Ahmad family, Barrow only responded, “At this juncture I don’t see that.”
Fareed Ahmad was killed after midnight on Thursday, December 28, 2017. Two days later his brother, Abdul Ahmad, received threatening text messages from a cellphone carrying the number 633-8021.
Last Wednesday at a family press conference, Abdul revealed the text messages, which began, “Listen bro, stop di get jumpy. Fareed don dead already, and wa dead man can’t tell no tales. Make sure you keep you f****** mouth shut, and stop di act jumpy like wah lee punk. The boss done handle yu already, suh stick to your part and stop di call up anybody from di crew. You done set, suh chill out, caz if you do r*** you was end up di same way as Fareed. Just relax, breds, and wait until boss contact you.
“Next thing, mek sure you keep a close eye on the next f****** breda Fisal and the rest on da list weh I send you. Nuff cash deh fu mek ya if yuou plot this out right. Just stick with every move until di time is right, and when we will say hello, to his Allah soon.”
The messages continued, “You know the protocol, bro, nuh text back, just listen and comply. Fareed sister might be a problem as well. Suh we might have to take her out faster than we originally planned. Suh be on standby for a text from you the boss. And stop trip bout Chester, because his investigation report no play no role. We are untouchable, nuh forget who da di boss. Oh, by the way, mek sure you get rid of the hit list, caz we don’t want anybody see that or know about that. And nuh worry about Michelle, caz if da lee b***h say the wrong thing, well, you done know di wah come up dead and people wah think dat Fareed family kill she.”
At the end of the text messages, he was warned to delete all the messages sent to him.
“Mek sure you delete all messages weh you do get from me or any member of the team,” the messages concluded.
In his presentation at Friday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives, Police Minister Elodio Aragon, Jr., assured the public that there would be a proper investigation into Ahmad’s murder.
He claimed, “I want to assure the public that there is no coverup in this …not under my watch. I want to make that clear.”