Wounded opposition MP to present medical report
Member of Parliament, Joan Baveghens, one of those who brought civil charges against two senior police ranks of the Tactical Services Unit (TSU) following the shooting of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) members late last year, is expected to present a medical report to substantiate claims that she sustained injuries after being shot by rubber bullets.
Baveghens and her friend 75-year-old Sarah Johnson who is also a victim in the case against the police officers were the only two present before Magistrate Judy Latchman when the matter was called at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Apart from Johnson and Baveghens, shot victims Attorney-at-law James Bond, retired Brigadier Edward Colin and William Thomas Dalgetty have also brought charges against Superintendent of Police Lyndon Alves and Assistant Superintendent of Police Errol Watts, the two senior TSU ranks charged with inflecting grievous bodily harm to the complainants.
Baveghens had to present the medical report but the matter had to be adjourned since she had left the document at home. She informed the court that she had changed handbags and the medical report was left in another bag. The matter was put off for next Wednesday.
On the previous occasion, Baveghens had testified that she and her friend Johnson were walking peacefully when they came across a police blockade. She said the police had ordered all the people who were walking to turn back in the direction from which they had come.
Baveghens said she enquired from the police why they had to turn back. She however said that before she could get a response from the police her friend advised her not to question the ranks and to do as they had ordered.
The parliamentarian said that the persons had turned around and were walking away from the blockade when she said she heard the clicking of guns. Baveghens said the ranks without warning started to shoot at the people and everyone scampered to safety.
The woman said it was “a mass of confusion” as persons started to run in all directions. She said what was worse was that the police were still shooting persons as they ran for cover.
Baveghens, however, said that she too was trying to avoid the pellets but after a while, the woman said she started to feel a sharp pain on her left leg. She said she still could not stop to inspect her injury since the police ranks had not ceased fire. The witness said when she finally checked her leg she realized that she had been shot at the back of her leg.
Attorney- at-Law Llewellyn John is representing the victims. He had requested that the matter be put down for the woman to present the medical to prove her story about the injuries. That will be done on the next occasion.
In the meantime, Attorney-at-law Patrice Henry is representing the charged senior ranks. Alves and Watts were put forward as the two officers who had given the order to shoot protestors who had initially congregated at the Square of the Revolution over matters stemming from the 2011 General Elections. Those issues included the release of original statements of poll from the Elections Commission.
At least 12 persons were charged earlier in the year for allegedly marching in an illegal procession. Amongst them were Attorney-at-law James Bond and retired Brigadier Edward Collins. The case against those persons was recently dismissed by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine Beharry.