Former policeman, Carl Methuram testified yesterday that he identified the alleged shooters in the 2008 Bartica Massacre.
The witness was called to the stand to testify in the trial for which Dennis Williams, called “Anaconda”, and Mark Royden Williams, called “Smallie” and Roger Anthony Simon, called ‘Goat Man’ are indicted for 12 counts of murder.
According to the charge on the night of February 17, 2008, the men were among a gang which attacked Bartica, slaughtering a dozen people, including three police officers, during an hour-long attack.
It was reported that the armed men attacked the police station before killing three policemen and freeing prisoners.
The three accused are before Justice Roxanne George and a mixed 12- member jury.
Yesterday, Methuram was called to the stand by State Prosecutors, Stacy Goodings and Diana Kaulesar.
He testified to identifying Dennis Williams and Mark Royden Williams during an identification parade following the February 2008 Bartica Massacre.
The witness said that he got to look at the men during the attack.
He recalled that the men were armed and standing on a landing of the Station. The witness said that he had taken cover, but he was able to get a look at the men.
During his testimony, Methuram pointed out the men who were seated a few feet away in the prisoners’ dock. He said they were the same persons that he saw on the landing of the Police Station.
Methuram recalled that following the attack he found bodies of security officer and police rank lying on the ground in the vicinity and at premises not too far from the Police Station.
The man also recalled that he assisted in transporting a number of injured persons to the Bartica Hospital.
His testimony was followed by the testimony and cross examination of Dwayne Williams called “Small Fren.”
Williams had told the court that he became a member of the gang that was led by notorious criminal Rondell “Fine-Man” Rawlins when he was yet a child.
He said that he became acquainted with the gang while growing up in the village of Buxton. He recalled that the gang which consisted of ‘Fine man’ ‘Mud Up’ “Smallie” and others.
The witness, now 24 years old, told the court that he was a child going to school, and that from time to time, members of the “Fine-Man” gang would send him to the shop to buy groceries for them.
He said too that he was at Bartica with the men when they shot and killed several persons.
On Tuesday, the witness identified Dennis Williams, called “Anaconda”, and Mark Royden Williams, called “Smallie”, as men he knew. He said that they were part of the gang that was present at Bartica for the Massacre.
However under cross-examination by Defence Counsel, Peter Hugh, the witness told the court that Roger Simon was not among the group that was at Bartica on the night that it was attacked.
“No, he was not there Sir,” Dwayne Williams said in response to questions by the Defence attorney.
He agreed too, to the suggestion that the first time he ever saw Simon was at the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) at the Magistrate’s Court.
Meanwhile, when attorney Saphier Husain questioned the witness, he said that he was around 17 years old when he gave the police statements in relation to the Bartica Massacre.
Dwayne Williams told the court that his mother, two Pastors, a lawyer and a Prison Administration Officer were present when he gave the statement.
Asked whether he was either in protective custody, forced or coerced to testify against the men, Williams said he was in police custody.
He said he knows nothing of protective custody.
Additionally, the witness said he was never promised anything or forced to give the evidence against the men on trial.
Williams is among some 37 witnesses set to testify in the trial. On Sunday, February 17, 2008, a number of gunmen attacked the mining community of Bartica, Essequibo, killing twelve residents – Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir, Constable Shane Fredericks and Constable Ron Osborne; Edwin Gilkes, Abdool Yassin Jr, Deonarine Singh, Errol Thomas, Ronald Gomes, Baldeo Singh, Ashraf Khan, Irving Ferreira and Dexter Adrian
After murdering the police officers, the gang stole cash, arms, ammunition and a vehicle from the police station. Using the stolen police vehicle, they drove through the streets of Bartica shooting at civilians. They proceeded to CBR Mining, where they stole arms and ammunition, and removed two safes containing cash and gold. After their one-hour rampage, the gunmen departed from Bartica by boat.
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