No word yet on probe into BASS killings
Stabroek News
November 21, 2001

Three months after President Bharrat Jagdeo ordered an enquiry into the fatal shootings of six Corentyne residents, the public is no closer to learning the circumstances surrounding their deaths at the hands of members of the Berbice Anti-Smuggling Squad (BASS) on August 14 and 17.

On August 14, BASS operatives killed notorious high seas bandit and smuggler Azad Bacchus, his son Shazaah and his nephew Fadil Ally, according to the police at Scottsburg, Corriverton. The circumstances surrounding the deaths of the three are yet to be clarified as the versions of the incident reported by the police and the Bacchus family, differ.

On August 17, during a noisy protest outside the BASS headquarters, shots were fired from the building, which killed Steven Angel, Janet Best and Saif Ghani.

Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj told a recent press conference that the report of the probe conducted by police was being finalized before it was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon had told reporters at a press briefing at the Office of the President that the enquiry was ordered as the shooting involved an agency other than the police force.

However, the public had anticipated that the probe would have addressed issues such as whether the correct procedures were followed by the BASS operatives on August 17, whether or not they should have been in possession of firearms when not on patrol; and whether on August 14, excessive force was used on the two Bacchuses and Ally.