Death squad killings
US embassy taking allegations seriously
January 25, 2004
The US embassy is taking seriously the allegations made by George Bacchus in his statements to US regional law enforcement officers who were present in Guyana at the time.
However, Ambassador Roland Bullen told Stabroek News that the information given by Bacchus was still being evaluated, and when this had been completed, it would be raised with the appropriate authorities. The US envoy said that the allegations made were being taken seriously, as Bacchus had said that he had been associated with a gang which was responsible for a number of dead bodies turning up around the city, about which the embassy was aware and concerned.
He also said that the embassy had not administered a lie detector test to Bacchus which Stabroek News had incorrectly reported had been done, in addition to saying that he had passed it. The Stabroek News report was based on sources which in the past have been well informed and reliable.
Bacchus' brother Shafeek, was gunned down outside his Princes Street, Lodge residence on January 5, by men who he claimed were members of a death squad, for which he had provided intelligence about criminals. He alleged the gang had been formed with the knowledge and involvement of Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj.
The police have since charged Ashton King, Shawn Hinds and Mark Thomas with Shafeek Bacchus' murder.
However, the government has said that it cannot mount an investigation into Gajraj's alleged involvement with the squad until Bacchus has made a formal statement to the police.
Police Commissioner (ag) Floyd McDonald has since written to Bacchus' lawyer seeking his assistance in getting Bacchus to make a formal statement.