Can Mr Bacchus be expected to give a statement?
Stabroek News
February 6, 2004

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Dear Editor,

There is a lot of brou-ha-ha surrounding George Bacchus' refusal and/or timidity and/or cautiousness in giving a statement to the police concerning the shooting of his brother Shafeek Bacchus.

Not so long ago, if my memory serves me right, Minister of Home Affairs Mr. Ronald Gajraj and the Commissioner of Police and to a lesser extent President Bharrat Jagdeo, were all involved in a matter concerning Mr. Paul Slowe, Assistant Commissioner of Police who was or is the officer in charge of the Berbice area.

From my information, Mr. Slowe was investigating an incident in which one of Mr. Gajraj's friends from New Amsterdam, Berbice was involved and a firearm. The Minister instructed Mr. Slowe to return the firearm to his friend. Mr. Slowe explained that the investigation was not completed, consequently the firearm could not be returned.

Apparently, Mr. Gajraj complained to the Commissioner who instructed Mr. Slowe to return the firearm to the owner and to apologise to the Minister for refusing to carry out his instructions.

Mr. Slowe did not return the firearm to its owner neither did he apologise to the Minister; he pointed out to the Commissioner that according to the Police Act the minister cannot give and Mr. Slowe cannot take orders given him by the minister; he could take orders only from the Commissioner, to whom he is accountable.

Further, that this investigation was incomplete and when completed he would forward a written report to the Commissioner.

The incident was reported to Mr. Jagdeo, who I am told asked Mr. Slowe to apologise to Mr. Gajraj for disobeying his order. Mr. Slowe refused.

The three gentlemen I am told, then attempted to remove, albeit illegally Mr. Slowe from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and transfer him to another position outside of the GPF for which he had not applied.

They were prevented from doing so by a court action which is pending.

Can anyone blame Mr. George Bacchus for not giving a statement to the Police or the Commissioner?

Further, according to an editorial in Stabroek News (2/2/04) "€¦it now turns out.. the DPP's Chamber had indeed recommended that a murder charge be laid against Williams but this was countermanded later in that day and altered to advice that a Coroner's inquest be held."

Perhaps, if the new commissioner demonstrates his independence Mr. Bacchus may be persuaded to give a statement. Only time will tell.

Yours faithfully,

D. Forde