Police ordered to explain Bacchus relative detention
July 2, 2004
Justice BS Roy has ordered Police Commissioner Winston Felix to explain why Jean Bacchus is still in custody, four days after she was re-arrested.
The order followed Habeas Corpus proceedings, which were initiated yesterday on behalf of the woman whose detention is said to be a breach of her constitutional rights.
The woman, who is the sister-in-law of the late death squad whistle-blower George Bacchus, was arrested by police on Monday in connection with the murder.
Justice Roy ordered that the commissioner appear before him today at 11:30 am, to show cause why a Writ of Habeas Corpus should not be issued to have the woman appear before the court.
In the affidavit to support the motion, Jean's sister, Olive Williams said the woman was first arrested at home last Friday by a party of policemen.
They took her to the Beterverwagting Police Station, where she was detained until Sunday afternoon when she was released. But Bacchus was re-arrested the next day and again detained at the station.
Williams retained a lawyer, attorney Nigel Niles, who visited the station the day after and requested to speak with the detained woman.
But the Officer-in-Charge of the station told him that there were strict instructions not to permit the woman to speak with anyone, including an attorney.
The lawyer purportedly told the officer that it was his client's constitutional right to retain and confer with a lawyer and he made a written complaint to the officer.
Williams also noted that she has been prevented from verifying the medical condition of her sister who suffers from acute low blood pressure.
It was stated that the woman has been in custody for in excess of 72 hours or three days.
"Jean Bacchus has not been charged with any offence and as far as I am informed by attorney-at-law Nigel Niles and verily believe, he has not been informed of any charge.
"I am further advised by Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes and verily believe that the detention of Jean Bacchus from the 28th day of June, 2004, is a breach of her fundamental right as guaranteed by the Constitution of Guyana," the affidavit says.