Who killed George Bacchus? FREDDIE ON FRIDAY
Kaieteur News
June 25, 2004

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This is the time when the Guyanese people in and out of Guyana, and those who maintain an interest in this country are looking to journalists to describe for them, without bias, what happened to George Bacchus, and commentators and analysts to interpret for them why Bacchus was murdered using professionally and decent investigation techniques.

Remember two weeks ago in this paper, Dr. Fenton Ramsahoye told his Trinidadian audience to beware of politicians. Well as the dimensions of this assassination unfold, the public in Guyana and other countries are going to be treated to a multiplicity of accusations across the political divide.

By the time the dailies hit the vendorsí trays, the politicians across the lines of demarcations will have the answer to my question which captions this article. It is for the analyst to provide independent assessments

I recall when Brian Hamilton was killed at his gas station in Buxton, one privately owned newscast and its anchor openly said on the newscast that Hamilton was killed by three members of the phantom squad. He was asked to explain that in an editorial note by the Stabroek News; he never did.

The citizens of this country, particularly through this newspaper and its columnists, were told who killed Hamilton because the surveillance camera caught on tape a wanted criminal, who made Buxton his home, exiting the gas station soon after the shooting.

One commentator openly told his audience that Minister Gajraj had left the country during the crime spree. This was during the shoot out between Dale Moore and his friends with the associates of a controversial, kidnapped businessmen next to the Ministerís house.

Shortly after the exchange of gunfire, Kaieteur journalist, Dale Andrews and others spoke to the Minister.

Let us hope we donít have a repetition of speculative journalism and openly prejudicial commentary on the Bacchus murder. Of course, it is unavoidable that some commentators will say they know who killed Bacchus since in Guyana we have political observers who are attached to their respective parties and they will offer viewpoints as part of the partyís propaganda war over the Bacchus murder. But journalists should distance themselves from this unholy situation.

Unfortunately again, we have some journalists in this country who operate with political interpretations when they report on the news. This week the publisher of one television newscast described his news as an opposition voice to the government. This is a contradiction in terms. How could a media house be a source of opposition criticism on the government?

Letís now return to the question as to who killed Bacchus. As the days and weeks unfold, we in the media will have to do our work to unearth the truth. The police have said there was no evidence of forced entry. Journalistic reports have confirmed that. Bacchus was reportedly shot through a grilled window that wasnít closed. The police also reported that four people are being questioned.

The easy access theory suggests that some person (s) had ready access to the apartment where Bacchus lived. But the story of access makes the Bacchus murder one of the strangest in the annals of homicide anywhere in the world and throughout history.

George Bacchus implicated senior public officials right up to the Cabinet level of involvement in killing citizens of Guyana. Fearing for his life, he fled after he made his unbelievable and dramatic confession. Naturally he felt afraid. His reason for fearing for his life became understandable when two men got charged for his brotherís murder (he said he was the intended target) therefore, as a witness he would have had to be extremely worried.

At all times, Bacchus said openly, and to others secretly, that he feared for his life. From the time he gave the US Embassy the statement until his death yesterday, George Bacchus was a frightened man.

The basis of Bacchusís trepidation, according to Bacchus himself, was that he was dealing with ruthless killers who wanted him dead. These killers were known to him and were his former associates. Matters got complicated when fear became the reason why he recanted his story against Minister Gajraj.

Then we had it all; Bacchus said since his life was in jeopardy, he signed the recantation document to collect the money and provide for his safety. Why then did Bacchus sleep with an open window? Where was his security? If Bacchus did not have a security detail then he was the strangest person ever. It is commonsensical for anyone to improve his or her security after a robbery, a burglary, an assault, or a threat.

The Chief Magistrate acted sensibly when she believed she was targeted. If they steal the plants under your house, you will improve your security. If you were in a fight and the loser told you he will get you, you will improve your security.

Now in putting a perspective on the security weaknesses in Bacchusís arrangements, the analyst must bear two important aspects of the assassination of George Bacchus and these two characteristics cannot be ignored. To my mind they offer the strongest speculation on who Bacchusís killers were or the sources from where his murderers came: (1) Bacchus was an extremely frightened person to the point where he was paranoid, (2) the men whom Bacchus exposed were known to him as killers and he told the press they wanted to kill him.

Why would such a person sleep in his underwear, next to a window that was open? If he had to run, he had to clothe himself. If he used protective logistics to avoid an easy hit, why provide your killers with an easy opportunity by sleeping next to an open window? Something is not right here. Something is definitely puzzling here. But mysterious and wrong as it is, it lends easily to coming up with an answer. So who killed George Bacchus?

I suggest we study two of the dimensions of this story and we will arrive at an answer. The easy access to his apartment and the absence of security. But suppose Bacchus did have a security arrangement?