Death squad furore
'Informant' for confrontation with suspects
Stabroek News
January 12, 2004

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A man who says he provided information to a death squad is to have a confrontation at police headquarters today with two men he believes were behind his brother's death last Monday.

George Bacchus, the brother of murdered businessman Shafeek Bacchus, is to meet face-to-face with a city undertaker and another man said to be an ex-policeman in connection with the murder of his brother.

Bacchus yesterday confirmed to Stabroek News that he would be having a confrontation with the two men who are in police custody.

The men were arrested sometime Friday afternoon almost four days after Bacchus had given a statement to the police implicating them in his brother's murder.

Shafeek Bacchus, who will be buried today, was gunned down while sitting in front of his Princes Street home last Monday night and the gunmen were heard exclaiming it was the "wrong man" moments after the execution. Shortly after his brother died Bacchus was heard saying that he was the real target of the men who he said are part of a death squad that has gotten out of control and are killing whomever they are paid to take out.

In a series of bombshell statements to the media since the murder of his brother, the man has said that following the atrocities visited upon citizens by the five February 23, 2002 prison escapees and their accomplices, the squad was formed and he agreed to use his own resources to find out about the criminals' whereabouts and passed the information to persons.

One of the persons he named as receiving information from him is Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj. In response to questions asked on Friday, Gajraj said that George Bacchus' allegation that he (Bacchus) had made Gajraj an offer to set up a killing squad "is a mere allegation and these things are of national security import. There is suspicion and on the basis of suspicion there is speculation. The matter must be investigated".

Bacchus said he distanced himself from the group because even after the most notorious criminals were wiped out the squad continued to kidnap and murder and got paid by persons who wanted others to be killed.

Bacchus has since said that he had complained to high authorities about the squad's action and it is because of this he was targeted by the men, thereby leading to his brother's death. Bacchus has said that before his brother's murder he had made two sworn statements and left them with two lawyers.

The man has since visited the US embassy on several occasions and has given officials there statements detailing what he knows of the squad. Bacchus had also said that he had seen the men in the car shortly after they killed his brother and had given their names to the police. He said that a third man is still on the loose and was seen up to Saturday.

The ex-policeman detained is said to be the manager of a business entity that is said to have links to the squad. The informant says the men targeted by the death squad were tortured at a city establishment.

The informant has also said that several other businessmen in the entertainment and currency business provided financial and other aid to the squad.

Bacchus yesterday reiterated that he was just an informant and has no details of the actual killings of the squad.

The government has said it is prepared to investigate Bacchus' claims once a full statement is made by the informant.