George Bacchus Preliminary Inquiry-
Defence Counsel complains of poor accommodation for client
August 24, 2004
Attorney-at-law Mr Vic Puran has made an application asking the Court to direct the Police to ensure that the Number Two accused in the George Bacchus murder case, Debra Douglas, is not exposed to inhuman conditions while in detention.
Since Douglas' detention, she has been kept at the New Amsterdam Prison. However, when the matter is called for hearing at the Georgetown Magistrate Court and is adjourned for short periods, the prisoner would be taken to the East La Penitence Police Station lockups, to avoid her having to be transported to and from Berbice.
Mr Puran complained yesterday at the continuation of the Preliminary Investigation (PI), that on August 16, Douglas was brought to the city and after the hearing, was taken to the East La Penitence lockups since the case was adjourned to August 18.
On August 16 around 18:00 hrs (6 p.m.) he said, ranks removed his client from the East La Penitence lockups based on orders by an official.
He explained that Police then took her to the New Amsterdam Prison but she could not enter the prison compound because the gates are usually locked at 16:00 hrs (4 p.m.) daily.
The accused, through her attorney, said that the Police then took her to the Berbice Central Police Station, where she spent the night in a small, dark and obnoxious cell.
"She just stood all night, there was no mattress, light nor even a piece of paper...we are not asking for AC or lights and fans, but the Police should at least improve the prison conditions," Puran said.
He stated that after her sleepless night, his client was taken back to the Berbice prison, even though she had to be in Court the following day. As a result he concluded, she was never brought for the PI on the 18.
Magistrate Bertlyn Reynolds subsequently said that she has noted the complaint and then fixed August 26 as the continuation date.
Yesterday, after Puran made the complaint, the witness Raymond Legar called "Rice" completed his evidence-in-chief and was cross-examined by both lawyers. Assistant Superintendent Richard Lowe, who is presenting the Prosecution's case, led the witness.
Douglas and Fabian 'Fabie' Jessop are represented by Puran, while lawyer Mr Glenn Hanoman is appearing on behalf of the Number One accused, Delon 'Fat Boy' Reynolds, handyman of the Bacchus family.
The three are charged jointly with the June 24 unlawful killing of self-confessed, so-called death squad informant George Bacchus, popularly known as 'Bombalay' at his Princes Street home. The second charge is alleging that between June 22 and 24, they counselled, procured and commanded Reynolds to commit the crime.