Jul 23, 2009 News
Visibly battered, shaking uncontrollably and unable to walk, Troy Small called ‘Cats’ was finally released from the Alberttown Police Station and was immediately rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation for medical attention.
Small, an alleged victim of torture at the hands of men believed to be members of the Guyana Defence Force, was released on $10,000 bail around 17:45 hours, after spending two days and nights at the Alberttown Police Station where he was dumped on Monday night.
The grimacing man’s legs were strapped with what appeared to be bandages and he was assisted to a waiting car by two male individuals, believed to be relatives.
Police say they are still treating Small as a suspect in the arsonist act that flattened two buildings housing the Ministry of Health on Brickdam.
However, they have not revealed if there is anything incriminating against Small, who works as a labourer building tombs in Le Repentir Cemetery.
Even up to yesterday, senior officials of the Guyana Police Force refused to confirm Small’s detention at the Alberttown Police Station although this newspaper had observed him lying on a bench in the enquiries room on Tuesday.
Small related a harrowing tale of being picked up on Mandela Avenue by the men and being dragged along the road all the way to Le Repentir Cemetery where he was mercilessly beaten.
He recalled that he was with a friend when three men, one of whom was dressed in what appeared to be an army uniform, approached them.
According to Small, one of the men asked him where he could purchase $5,000 in Guinness.
Small said this aroused his suspicions about the men’s motive since according to him the men were already drinking Guinness when they posed the question to him.
Eventually one of the men gave his friend $1,000 and sent him away.
Small said that unexpectedly, the man grabbed him and forced him towards the car which was already in motion and attempted to force him inside.
“I hold on pon de top of de car and he trying fuh force me in. One inside vice me round me neck and the one jump in and de car drive off with half me body outside. All I know was they driving and me body deh out de car while one holding me neck,” Small related, while trembling uncontrollably.
He said that several persons saw what was happening and he was dragged along Mandela Avenue through Cemetery Road and into the cemetery.
There the men placed a bag over his head and while one of them held a gun to his chest, another placed a gun into his mouth and began asking him questions about the Ministry of Health fire.
“Dey ask me fuh tell dem is who pay me fuh bun down de place and how much I get pay fuh bun it down.
I tell dem I ain’t know bout no fire, I does wuk in de burial ground.
Then dem ask me whey de thing deh, and I ask dem wha thing. Dey say de thing wah been in de coffin,” Small related.
He said that he told the men that he only knew about a dead he had buried recently which had arrived from America and offered to take them to the tomb.
But the men continued to beat him and persisted in asking him how much he was paid to burn the Ministry down.
Another vehicle with more men arrived on the scene and Small overheard a voice saying, “shoot him”.
The labourer said he begged for his life telling the men that he had a child to live for.
Still blindfolded, Small was eventually taken to a house where the bag was removed from his head and he observed several men. “A man tell dem wha bring me, ‘Y’all gone gat fuh carry dis man to de station and tell dem dat he and two man had a fight’ and that is how I get these injuries.”
He said that that was the eventual report that the men gave to the police when he was finally taken to the police station.
This newspaper understands that Small was first taken to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department and then to the Brickdam Police Station.
However, officials there refused to accept him in the condition he was taken there in. He was eventually dumped at the Alberttown Police Station where he stayed until his eventual release.
Yesterday when this newspaper turned up at the Alberttown Police Station, Small was still lying on the bench although ranks there insisted that the man had been sent away.
Reporters from this newspaper and other media houses did not buy that and waited outside the station for several hours as the police played cat and mouse with the man’s release.
Family members are upset that Small was kept in that condition at the station for so long.
They said that had it not been for the media, Small might have been kept in custody until he could walk before he was released.
One family member even disclosed that the police had informed her not to engage the media.
Colleagues of the injured man who visited him at the station yesterday said that Small worked up to 15:00 hours on Sunday.
“We left shock because we never know that a man like he would have something like that done to he. That is cruelty fuh me,” one colleague said.
Meanwhile, this newspaper understands that the police have invited African Cultural Development Association member, Archie Poole, for questioning.
A police source declined to confirm if Poole is wanted in connection with the fire at the Ministry of Health.
Kaieteur News understands that members of the security forces had visited Poole’s home on two occasions within the past three days.
The police are also questioning several other persons in connection with Saturday morning’s blaze.
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