Shafeek Bacchus PI
Defence granted deferral to April 14
Stabroek News
March 25, 2004

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The preliminary inquiry into the murder of cattle farmer Shafeek Bacchus failed to commence yesterday following a request by the defence for a deferral.

Defence counsel Compton Richardson requested a later date citing his presence before Justice Jainarine Singh Jnr in the High Court in another matter.

Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen granted the adjournment and fixed the hearing for April 14.

Attorney Vic Puran who is appearing for accused Ashton King told the court yesterday that he was in a position to start in the absence of Richardson.

Puran had on the last occasion voiced his disapproval at the delay in the proceedings. Then he had pointed out that the prosecution was seeking adjournments without giving a reason for the request.

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has since taken over the matter from the police and state counsel Kim Kyte and Simone Morris are prosecuting.

Supporters of the defendants continue to turn out in large numbers and yesterday a sizeable crowd flocked the courtyard.

Words of encouragement rang out in the yard when the defendants turned up at court. Shackled, the duo embraced well wishers and urged them to keep the faith.

Among the calls yesterday were, "Ashton we are here", "Be strong Ashton and Shawn" and "Freedom is down the road".

One supporter lashed out at the media for continuously reporting on the case. According to her, family and friends of both defendants are yet to find the real significance in the case that has drawn such media attention.

"Cameras, cameras and more cameras! I ain't know when they gon done", she said drawing approval from others in the yard.

Unlike previous court appearances when they both spoke volubly, King and Hinds remained silent.

At the last hearing, both men had voiced their disapproval at the delay in the proceedings. They claimed then that the police were delaying just to keep them imprisoned longer.

The two men were jointly charged on January 16, along with the now deceased Mark Thomas, with the murder of Bacchus. Bacchus was gunned down on January 5 as he sat outside his Princes Street home and his death triggered an avalanche of stunning allegations about the existence of a death squad.

Thomas, called 'Kerzorkee', of Auby's Wine Bar, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital in February under suspicious circumstances. He had collapsed at the Brickdam Police Station days earlier when he learned that a charge of murder was instituted against him.