Bacchus must come forward, Gajraj step aside -says Nascimento
Stabroek News
February 1, 2004

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George Bacchus should surrender to the police and give the evidence he says he has, suggests commentator Kit Nascimento.

In a viewpoint aired on GTV Channel 11 yesterday, Nascimento also said the Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj ought to step aside as his presence could compromise the investigation. "He must do so precisely because he is the political head of a police force which has failed to do its job."

As for Bacchus, who the public relations consultant says has no credibility, "If he continues to refuse to come forward, then he should be arrested and charged as an accessory to murder."

Bacchus says he was once an informant for a gang that is responsible for numerous killings of criminals over the last eighteen months. Bacchus also says that Gajraj was aware of the gang's operations as were senior police officers and several prominent businessmen.

Nascimento thinks the government ought to confront the accusations, regardless of the truth or falsity of the story. He points out that the killings are real and the police have so far failed to prosecute or prevent them.

There have been calls for an independent investigation and even a public enquiry into the allegations, including the alleged involvement of the state in organised killings.

But Nascimento believes that this need not have happened if the acting Police Commis-sioner, Floyd McDonald, had acted immediately upon Bacchus' allegations. It was more than two weeks after Bacchus went public that the acting Commissioner sought to make contact with him, to assist an investigation of the claims he described as very serious.

"The Commissioner (ag), after waiting much too long, has now properly invited Bacchus and his lawyer to come in and make good on what, to date, remain nothing more than one man's allegations."

Nascimento was also critical of the PNCR leader, Robert Corbin, whom he chastises for failing to disclose the evidence he had claimed to possess about such death squads.

In a letter to the president where he outlined his concerns about the group, Corbin said that he was in possession of intelligence reports of their being more than one death squad. McDonald, to whom the President communicated Corbin's claim, requested the evidence of the opposition leader while assuring strict professionalism. Corbin refused, stressing the need for the minister's resignation, prior to any disclosures.

"Has it occurred to Corbin that when he refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Commissioner of Police in a matter of a criminal investigation, he refuses to recognise the rule of law and invites the rest of the nation to do the same?" Nascimento asks.

"It is less than responsible behaviour. He can hardly expect government to countenance it. Does Corbin really want justice to prevail or [does he] simply prefer to further destablilise the country?"