Death squad probe
PNC/R wants investigation reinforced-
- says Bacchus’s revelation confirms tampering of witnesses
Kaieteur News
June 17, 2004

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LEADER of the People’s National Congress Reform, Robert Corbin, said that the recent revelation by ex-informant of the death squad, George Bacchus, is enough to reinforce an investigation into the ‘death squad’.

Speaking to Kaieteur News, the PNC/R leader said that during last week he informed the press that he knew of efforts to tamper with witnesses pertaining to the ‘death squad’ allegations. “I have information that people were being terrorised and frightened, that bribes were being passed and one of the persons being tampered with was George Bacchus,” Corbin said.

Asked to comment on whether this latest revelation will dampen his party’s campaign against allegations of a ‘death squad’ and the alleged involvement of the Home Affairs Minister, Corbin said, “Not at all. It will be strengthened since there are persons who are trying to cover up their tracks, like Member of Parliament Shirley Edwards, because they know that it is now public that George Bacchus was terrorized into given a statement seeking to compromise his earlier revelation about the Home Affairs Minister’s involvement in a killing squad.”

The PNC/R leader raised concerns about the current threatening atmosphere, which he said can deter other witnesses from coming forward with evidence of the death squad’s operations.

He re-emphasized the party’s call for a witness protection programme and the widening of the terms of reference of the inquiry in an effort to get behind the truth of this entire saga.

Meanwhile, the members of the named Presidential Commission of Inquiry are yet to be sworn in, as doubts surround one member who was overseas during the announcement.

To this, Mr. Corbin said that the fact is that when the government announced the commission it knew very well that starting an immediate inquiry was not possible:

“It is interesting to investigate at what point was the statement clearing Gajraj, forced out of Bacchus, since at that time you will note whether the terms of reference of the commission of inquiry relates only to Gajraj, which is very instructive.”

Asked whether this latest episode seriously questions the credibility of the self-confessed informant, Corbin said that only an effective Commission of Inquiry may determine that.

(Zaheer Abbass)