Bacchus murder
Police expect charges soon -hold wife of alleged paymaster
Stabroek News
July 2, 2004

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The police yesterday said they expect to lay charges soon against suspects in the murder of self-confessed informant, George Bacchus.

They are also searching for another suspect who they say could assist them in the investigation, a press statement said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Stabroek News understands that the police have arrested the wife of a businessman who reportedly handed over money for Bacchus to be executed. It is not clear how much money the suspects have said they were paid.

On Wednesday, a former associate of Bacchus reportedly confessed to the murder and took the police to the Princes Street, Lodge home where he recovered the murder weapon in a dung heap.

The man is said to have informed the police that he received a sum of money for the murder while a relative of Bacchus, who has been in custody since the murder, also admitted receiving money to open the door for the killer. Other relatives told this newspaper that the relative had also confessed to overdosing Bacchus with painkillers.

According to the police statement yesterday, since Bacchus' death more than fifty persons have been questioned and nineteen were arrested and some of those persons are still in custody.

"Discreet inquiries unearthed several clues which were followed and evidence was carefully complied. Several homes were searched," the release said.

It added that those searches led to the identification of several suspects, and the recovery of a firearm, which may have been used to commit the crime.

The release also disclosed that scientific testing had been conducted on weapons and suspects.

The man, who allegedly confessed to the murder, was a handyman at the home since Bacchus' brother, Shafeek, was murdered on January 5 and used to sleep in a hammock under the house. Just before his death Bacchus and the man reportedly had a misunderstanding and he moved out.

Bacchus went public earlier this year when his brother was killed, saying he was the intended target because he had spoken out again the activities of a death squad he had once supplied with information.

He alleged that Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj knew about the activities of the squad. Gajraj has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Bacchus was expected to testify shortly in the preliminary enquiry into his brother's death. Three men, Ashton King, Shawn Hinds and Mark Thomas, were charged with the murder based on information provided by Bacchus. Thomas has since died.

Several days before his death, George Bacchus had told Stabroek News that he had been told that a man with a rifle had been stalking him. Bacchus was also recently embroiled in another controversy over tapes he made in collaboration with a PPP MP and a GINA officer recanting allegations made against Gajraj. After the tapes were made, Bacchus said that he had done it for the promised money and safe passage out of the country and that he stood by his original allegations about the death squad.