…each released on $100,000 bail
From very early, long before 9:00hrs, scores of persons including members of the gay and
lesbian community flocked the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and the Avenue of the Republic thoroughfare in anticipation of the arrival of Former Liaison Officer under the PPP government, Kwame McCoy.
The wait was not in vain; heralded by load roars McCoy and his alleged accomplices, who are accused of throwing faeces on newspapers columnist and social activist Frederick Kissoon, arrived at the courthouse around 10:00hrs.
McCoy and his co-accused, self-confessed death squad member Sean Hinds and Opposition Executive, Jason Abdulla, were seated handcuffed and shackled in the tray of a police vehicle. However, McCoy was the most targeted. The crowd hurled insults at him but he did not appear to be bothered.
As persons chanted for him to be jailed, McCoy loudly exclaimed, “We have degenerated as a society”. He then claimed that the charge against him was politically motivated.
McCoy, 40, of Section A Diamond, East Bank Demerara; Hinds, 51, of Albouystown, Georgetown, and Abdulla, 34, of Barr Street, Kitty, Georgetown were kept in the prisoners holding area for a while before they were taken before a Magistrate.
In a packed courtroom, the trio was not required to plead to the indictable charge which alleged that on May 24, 2010 they assaulted Kissoon.
When asked by Magistrate Judy Latchman what was his position on bail for the accused, Kissoon told the court that at a philosophical level he would not want to deny people their liberty. He made it clear that he was in fear for his life.
“I have always feared for my life under the Jagdeo Administration. And given that these men were agents of Jagdeo no one should deny me the fear I feel of being hurt,” Kissoon told the court.
McCoy, Hinds and Abdulla were each ordered to post bail in the sum of $100,000 by Magistrate Latchman. The money was posted by the opposition People’s Progressive party which is contending that the men were political prisoners.
They will make their next court appearance on March 11.
McCoy was represented by Attorney Latchmie Rahamat. Attorney Glenn Hanoman entered an appearance for Abdulla while Hinds retained Euclin Gomes as his lawyer.
The Attorney made an application for the matter to be tried in the High Court.
The accused were ordered to lodge their passports with the court. But interestingly, McCoy claimed that he could not have found the document. In those circumstances, he had to produce an affidavit for stolen passport before his release.
Attorney Gomes told the court that his client is denying the allegation.
Their court appearance lasted for about half an hour.
Police Corporal, Kerry Bostwick, presented the prosecution’s case. He told the court that the incident happened close to six years ago in the vicinity of Robb and Light Streets, Georgetown. He said that the incident was reported to police and investigations were launched.
According to Bostwick, a few days ago police acting on information contacted the accused and later arrested them. The Prosecutor informed the court that while in police custody Abdulla and Hinds confessed to the crime but McCoy remained silent. When the court hearing concluded the accused were brought through the court chute and persons clamoured at them.
“Clear the stairways!” One senior police officer shouted as persons crowded the stairways and corridors of the court. They were reluctant to follow the order; after much grumbling most of them acquiesced. But one thing was apparent, McCoy was enjoying the attention. He showed his supporters thumbs up and willingly spoke with reporters.
It seemed as though the crowd wanted to put a sound thrashing on McCoy. Just after noon, the crowd gradually began their tirade demanding that McCoy be removed from the outpost and brought in public. They began to behave disorderly. Some of them were even escorted out of the court yard by police.
“Weh Kwame Deh”, “Bring she out” they chanted. A man also stood in front of the gate holding a placard with the words “Jail the three stogies”. Then there was also another gentleman that climbed the court fence and shouting “Kwame” while waving female underwear on a piece of stick.
After posting bail, Hinds and Abdulla peacefully exited the court compound through the main gate.
Shortly after 13:30hrs, McCoy and his entourage, in a bid to escape the taunts and mocking tried to leave using the court’s Brickdam entrance. Police ranks upset their move. They were barred from using that entrance and had no other choice but to use the main gate. Persons ran behind him as he was being led away by two gay supporters.
Many persons positioned themselves in front of the St Andrew’s Kirk where McCoy’s vehicle was parked.
Minutes later, a fight broke out between his supporters and persons from the crowd. Police officers quickly dissolved the fight. For some reason about three police officers accompanied McCoy back into the outpost. He stayed there for a while before being subsequently escorted out of the court compound by officers.
McCoy and his supporters hopped into the waiting vehicle and sped off.
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