George Bacchus murder probe
Seven cops, nine civilians being questioned
Stabroek News
June 26, 2004

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Seven police constables and nine civilians are being questioned by the police in connection with Thursday's chilling murder of death squad informant, George Bacchus and they include a close relative of the deceased and a media worker.

Stabroek News understands that the number of persons being questioned was growing all the time but the figures of seven and nine were the latest, sources said last night.

According to the sources, one of the policemen held was a relative of the late Axel Williams, who was identified by Bacchus as being a senior member of the death squad.

Reports indicated that the man was picked up at his home on Thursday and up to yesterday afternoon he was still being grilled.

And another relative of Williams was also reportedly picked up in neighbouring Suriname to be brought back to Guyana to be questioned, reports said.

Stabroek News understands that persons were being extensively questioned at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Head-quarters.

The 51-year-old cattle farmer was killed at around 2.40 am on Thursday at his 76 Princes Street, Lodge home, while lying in his bed in the second flat of the four-storey house under a window. He was shot three times: under the eye, armpit and leg.

It is not clear how the killer(s) gained access to Bacchus' room, as the window is a few feet away from the stairs and a lone person would have needed some assistance.

Yesterday persons were still shocked at the man's demise and the police were nowhere near close to pinpointing who executed him.

His relatives said they heard three gunshots and later discovered the man lying in the bed dead.

No one, including neighbours, reported hearing any vehicle or seeing anyone leaving the premises.

Sources also informed this newspaper that the police were also questioning a media worker.

Reports are that some of the policemen in custody include the ones that had questioned Bacchus' nephew sometime last week. The nephew had reported that the officers had stopped and called him to a vehicle and questioned him about the whereabouts of Bacchus, asking him where he sleeps at night.

According to reports, the ranks' actions were unofficial and it was one policeman who spearheaded the questioning who has now landed them in hot water.

One source pointed out that the persons might be placed on bail after the mandatory 72 hours in custody has expired.

Once again, police could not provide information on the calibre of weapon used in the murder but reports indicated that a post-mortem examination would be done on the man's body on Monday.

Sources yesterday noted that it was strange that no one living in the house with Bacchus heard anything other than the gunshots or saw strange movements.

Police yesterday would not say what theory they were working on in their investigation, stating that there is a lot more work to be done.

Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix, at a press conference on Thursday had said that the police have assembled a high level team to investigate the murder and pledged that the police will go in whichever direction their investigation takes them.

When his brother, Shafeek, was gunned down on January 5, George Bacchus had said that he was the intended target of the killers because he had begun to complain that the death squad members were being hired willy-nilly for contract killings.

He had said that he had made his objections known to persons who had control over them and had alleged that Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj had knowledge of the operations of the squad. The minister has repeatedly denied the allegation.