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U.S. Did Not Ask Guyana to Arrest President Bouterse

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The United States government today made it clear that it did not request Guyana to arrest Suriname President Desi Bouterse last year.

In a statement issued by the local embassy, the US said President Bouterse is the democratically-elected president of Suriname, and the US respects the results of free and fair elections. The US said it looks to maintain good ties with Suriname.

The statement by the United States came after President Jagdeo told an army conference that Guyana was asked by a foreign mission to arrest the Surinamese president but he refused. Thought the President never mentioned the name of the foreign mission, he went on to provide examples of cases when he said Guyana requested help from the US and that help was not forthcoming. The two statements coming just after each other may have provided the wrong impression and so the US moved today to let it be known that it did not make any such request of Guyana.

But legal sources familiar with how such requests are made point out that the President’s statement by itself that he was asked and refused is worrying. One legal source said when a country wants to make a request for the arrest of someone, that usually goes through Interpol and Interpol would make contact with local law enforcement. The legal source said if it is that the President made the call and directed law enforcement not arrest Bouterse it would indicate that the president gives direct orders to law enforcement and that may have resulted in persons being taught lessons in the past.

The President revelation about the foreign mission request came in response to a question posed by an army officer to him about whether the relationship between Guyana and Suriname would change if it is found that the Surinamese president before he became president was in regular contact with jailed Guyana drug lord roger khan. Bouterse was convicted in absentia in the Netherlands on gun running and drug charges. He has always denied the charges. The Netherlands still has an arrest warrant out for him.

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