Linden killings…AFC to share ‘significant evidence’ with international agencies
-in effort to protect eyewitnesses
“We plan to share this information to protect the witnesses so we don’t have another ‘George Bacchus’ situation…”
By Michael Jordan
Executive member of the Alliance For Change, Nigel Hughes, says that the AFC has gathered ‘significant evidence’ relating to the fatal shootings at Linden.
But to protect eyewitnesses who have expressed ‘extreme fear’ of the police, the party will first release this information to international agencies before handing it over to local investigators.
The attorney explained that the release of this information will be done once the party receives confirmation from ballistics tests that are to be carried out on bullet fragments that were retrieved from the bodies of two of the slain men.
“A lot of witnesses have expressed grave reservation about their identities being released to the police,” Hughes said.
“We plan to share this information with a number of international agencies to protect the witnesses so we don’t have another ‘George Bacchus’ situation. The evidence we have is pretty significant.
“We are working out an arrangement where the information can be released to the police.”
Hughes was referring to alleged ‘killing squad’ member, George Bacchus, who was shot dead in his Princes Street, Lodge home in June 2004, shortly after disclosing that he had provided information to a senior Government official that a squad of gunmen was eliminating criminal elements during the crime wave.
Kaieteur News was told that the survivors of the July 18 Linden shootings have refused to give police written statements.
The attorney declined to say whether the evidence in his possession includes video footage of the shooting of the protesters. At the centre of the tragedy is the mystery of who fired the fatal shots and what type of firearm was used.
Trinidad-based Pathologist, Professor Hubert Daisley, who was hired by the AFC to view the postmortem, stated that two of the three slain Linden protesters appeared to have been shot with bronze-tipped rounds.
According to information Hughes has received, ranks in the standard firing line were equipped with two Ak47 assault rifles, two shotguns and two weapons that were used to fire tear gas canisters.
Hughes said that there were also officers in Khaki uniforms who had side-arms.
“Two of the persons shot were north of the police line. One was shot in the chest, so those guns had to be turned north…he was not in the crowd.
“We believe that the policemen of integrity should disclose the type of weapons, including sidearms that the other policemen had on them. There is also information about an officer who had a sidearm wrapped in newspaper.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law Enforcement) Seelall Persaud has said that only four shotgun cartridges were unaccounted for from the ammunition that police ranks had in their possession during the Linden protest.
Hughes disclosed on Friday that United Kingdom ballistics expert Dr. David Robinson is willing to examine the bullet fragments that were extracted from two of the Linden victims.
The attorney said that the AFC has written to Commissioner of Police Leroy Brumell requesting permission for Dr. Robinson to view the fragments.