'Killer aimed gun at me on night my brother murdered'
-George Bacchus said in video-taped interview
Stabroek News
June 28, 2004

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Only a few seconds after they shot his brother dead, the men who were later named by death squad whistle blower George Bacchus, had a chance to kill him but didn't.

This is according to the murdered informant's full account of the events that transpired on the night of January 5th, after younger brother Shafeek Bacchus was shot dead in a drive-by shooting. The killing prompted the older brother to go public with allegations about the activities of a death squad which he said had killed almost forty people with the knowledge of Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj.

Bacchus himself was murdered last Thursday as he slept in his four-storey house at Lot 76 Princes Street, where his brother was killed almost six months ago.

Before he was killed, in a taped interview with PNCR leader Robert Corbin on June 4th, he said that on the night of his brother's murder he had also come close to death when the men tried to fire on him as well.

His brother is believed to have been mistaken for him by the gunmen who yelled "Wrong man! Wrong man!" as they sped from the scene. The younger brother, a cattle farmer, was shot as he sat in a clearing across the road from the house.

George Bacchus was riding home on his motorbike at the time and was not far away when the shots rang out.

He said he heard the shots coming from the direction of his home, which was in view from Mandela Avenue as he approached.

"When I riding coming now... I saw this white car speeding coming out [of my street], right? And when this car come out and when they reach the corner, the voice... that is `Kerzorkee', he say, `Oh s...t watch the right one [there]..."

At this point he described the motion as one of the men in the car lifted a weapon and aimed at him.

He didn't fire and Bacchus did not know why, though he suspected that the gun might have jammed.

Bacchus said there were five men in the car, although he could only identify three of them. He said he later gave the licence plate number to the police, but claimed that they never questioned the owner of the vehicle.

Ashton King, Shawn Hinds and Mark Thomas called `Kerzorkee' were the men charged for the murder of Shafeek Bacchus. Thomas died in the hospital from unknown causes before the start of the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the charges. The PI has stalled as a result of Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen's decision to recuse herself from the matter. She did so after reports were aired that she was one of the persons on a hit list.

Bacchus claimed that he recounted the night's episode to Minister Gajraj, who he called when he realised his brother had been killed. He said the first time he called, the minister put the phone down after he told him that his brother was killed and named the men responsible.

On the second occasion, the minister promised to investigate, he said. Bacchus added that when he saw the Police Impact Patrol with officers who were laughing, he realised that nothing would be done.

Earlier in the year, the minister did confirm that he was contacted by Bacchus, who he said asked him to arrest the men he believed were responsible for his brother's murder.

He has denied Bacchus' allegations, maintaining that he carried out his functions according to the law.

Bacchus told the opposition leader that he repeated his allegations about the death squad and the minister when he gave statements in connection with his brother's murder at the East La Penitence and the Brickdam police stations.

But he said when he mentioned the minister, the policemen writing the statements were reluctant to include it, before they eventually settled on the description "executive government official."

A tape of the interview as well as copies of the affidavits sworn to by Bacchus were handed over to the police who are investigating the allegations as a result.