Cops held in Bacchus murder
-others in custody
June 25, 2004
POLICE were last night questioning at least two policemen, as well as four close associates of self-confessed informant George Bacchus in connection with his execution-style murder at around 03:00 hrs yesterday.
Sources identified one of the ranks as the brother of a former policeman who was executed last December. The two ranks are reportedly being held at Sparendaam.
Kaieteur News understands that several other ranks are being questioned, although investigators have found nothing tangible to link them to the killing.
Sources identified the four civilians as a nephew of Bacchus, who lived at the Princes Street Lodge property where his uncle was killed, a former handyman who had worked at the Bacchus property, one male who slept at the home and another Princes Street resident.
At a press conference yesterday, Police Commissioner Winston Felix declined to say whether the four were being treated as possible suspects.
Kaieteur News understands that police have taken swabs from the hands of the four to test for the presence of gunpowder residue.
This newspaper was unable to ascertain why the two police ranks were being questioned.
A nephew of Bacchus had alleged a few days ago that he was picked up by four police ranks and questioned about his uncle’s movements.
At the time, he had said that he could identify two of the ranks.
Police appear to be working on a number of theories, including the possibility that the informant was slain following a prolonged dispute with persons close to him.
Detectives reportedly have information that Bacchus had an altercation a week ago with one of the Princes Street residents who had worked at his brother’s home.
Bacchus, 50, called ‘Bombaley’, was shot while sleeping in a bedroom in the second flat of the Lot 76 Princes Street, Lodge, property where his elder brother, Shafeek, was himself slain last January.
George Bacchus was shot under the left eye, under the right armpit and in the right leg. Police said that the weapon might have been a .38 handgun. Detectives also retrieved a bullet from the scene.
The police took possession of Bacchus’s cellular phone and the blood-soaked mattress.
Police said that there appeared to be no sign of forced entry into the property. Other occupants said that none of the seven dogs that the family kept barked to indicate that an intruder was present.
The nephew said that when he ran upstairs after the shooting the door was opened. He added that Bacchus slept with his bedroom door open.
Sources say that the front door to the second flat where Bacchus had lived was reportedly also open, as well as a bedroom window by the stairs.
News of Bacchus’s execution spread quickly and police were forced to cordon off both sections of Princes Street to keep the large crowds at bay.
Derrick Prince, a nephew of the murdered man, who lives on the property, said that he was awakened by the sound of gunfire.
However, he said that he did not “take it for anything” at the time.
He said that another male, who was sleeping in a hammock at the back of the house, also heard the gunshots and suggested that they check on Bacchus.
Prince said that on entering Bacchus’ room, he saw his uncle lying on the bed with blood on his face. He said that he shook his uncle, who remained motionless.
The nephew and other occupants said that they did not see anyone fleeing the scene or hear any vehicle moving off.
Jean Bacchus, whose husband, Shafeek, was slain in January, said that the family had several dogs—and a pit bull, which is always tied—on the property.
She said that the animals would often bark when strangers and even occupants with whom they were familiar, entered the yard.
Several senior police officials, including Crime Chief Henry Greene, visited the scene. Ranks from the Crime Scene Unit also combed the area for several hours.
It was not until some four hours had elapsed that porters from the Lyken Funeral Home eventually came to remove the body.
They experienced difficulty hoisting the corpse of the stocky informant, and had to drag it down the stairs.
Bacchus first came out with allegations of a ‘killing squad’ on January 6, a day after his brother was gunned down outside his Princes Street home.
Bacchus had alleged that members of the squad wanted him dead and had mistakenly killed his brother.
He alleged that he had once acted as an informant for the squad, which he said was formed by Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, to rid the society of notorious wanted men.
But Bacchus said that he had fallen out with its key members, after they began to kidnap, torture, and execute innocent persons.
Bacchus had given a statement to officials of the US Embassy about the alleged ‘killing squad’.