`Death Squad witness killing: Cops released, relatives still in custody
Guyana Chronicle
June 30, 2004

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THE policemen held for questioning following the shooting to death of self-confessed `Death Squad’ informant, George Bacchus, have been released while two of his close relatives remained in custody yesterday.

The two relatives have emerged as central figures in the probe, a source said.

They lived in the Princes Street, Georgetown house where Bacchus was killed in his bed.

Several cops were held after Bacchus was killed last Thursday, including five from the Dragon Alpha Squad, a unit of the Target Quick Reaction Group which specialised in dealing with hardcore criminals.

Bacchus was shot three times in the head and body at his house just before 03:00 hrs Thursday.

Questions have arisen around the easy access the killer(s) had to Bacchus in light of his recent concerns, expressed in the media, over his personal safety.

Several ferocious dogs, including a pit bull which Bacchus kept, did not bark at any time during the night of his murder, neighbours said.

A window and main doors to the section of the four-storey house where he was sleeping were also left open, sources said.

Bacchus was the key witness against two men – Ashton King and Shawn Hinds – charged with killing his younger brother Shafeek in a drive-by shooting outside the Princes Street house on January 5 this year.

The two are in jail pending the outcome of a preliminary inquiry into the murder charge against them.

A third man, Mark `Kerzorkee’ Thomas died in the hospital a short while after he was arrested.

After his brother’s murder, George Bacchus went to the media and the United States Embassy with allegations that Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj had started a `Phantom Squad’ that targetted known and dangerous criminals in order to stem the crime wave unleashed after the February 23 jailbreak in 2002.

Gajraj has denied the charges.

At a news conference last Thursday, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Winston Felix said the force was going to follow the investigation wherever it may lead.

He said a high-level special team of investigators had been set up for the probe.