Bacchus exonerates Minister Gajraj
-- MP Edwards
Guyana Chronicle
June 15, 2004

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The following is a statement to the press issued by Member of Parliament Shirley Edwards, JP on Monday, June 14, 2004:

I HAVE seen the recent airing of Channel Nine's Nation Watch, a programme of the PNC/R on which PNC/R leader Mr. Robert Corbin interviewed George Bacchus, also known as "Bombaley," over the weekend.

Bacchus or Bombaley, as he is known in the Lodge area, lives two doors away from me. We both grew up on Princess Street, Lodge, and enjoy good neighborly relations.

About mid-May Bacchus approached me indicating that he wanted to make a statement to the media regarding his earlier allegations against (Home Affairs) Minister (Ronald) Gajraj.

According to him, he knew that Minister Gajraj was not, neither in, nor responsible for any death squads. But he was angry that when he told Minister Gajraj who was responsible for the killing of his brother, the Minister, he claims, did not act promptly. Bacchus said he was angry and that was why he made the allegations against the Minister. Bacchus said that he now wanted the public to know that Minister Gajraj was not involved in any death squad.

I thought that Bacchus making a statement exonorating the Minister was a good idea and said I would assist in contacting someone to do the recording.

Before I was able to make any arrangement, however, I saw Roger Moore, a BBC crew, other media personnel and PNC/R MPs Raphael Trotman and Debra Backer visiting Bacchus at his home. I later saw some excerpts of those interviews on certain television stations.

In response to Bacchus' request, I contacted a media personnel attached to the Guyana Information News Agency (GINA), Michael Gordon, who came and interviewed Bacchus at my home.

I wish to state that at no time was there any talk of or promise of a bribe to do that or any other interview. Also, I never heard Gordon or anyone else offering Bacchus a bribe. He did the interview on his own free will.

It is said that the issue is being misrepresented. This could possibly be a scheme concocted to embarrass others and me who merely wanted the truth to be revealed.

Why Bacchus changed his story? Only he and Corbin can say.