The father of murder accused Dennis Williams told the court yesterday that his son was with him on February 17, 2008 – the same day the mass killings occurred in Bartica.
The witness, Grantley Williams was called to the stand by Defence Counsel, Saphier Husain.
In his brief testimony, the man said that he and his son Dennis share a good relationship. He said that before his son was arrested he was staying with him at his Albouystown residence.
He recalled that his son had also been staying with his girlfriend for some time.
Under cross- examination by State Counsel Stacy Gooding, the witness however told the court that he could not remember the exact date that his son was with him.
Dennis Williams also led his defence from the witness box yesterday. During his sworn testimony, he said that he was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. The accused claimed that he was tortured by the police to give a statement. He said, however, that he never gave the police any statement.
Williams’ testimony followed the evidence of Michael Caesar.
Caesar was sentenced last December for the Bartica and Lusignan massacres. He returned to the stand on Monday, telling the judge and jury that the three persons before the court for the incident were never there on the night it occurred.
Caesar had been charged jointly for the murders with Mark Royden, called Durant or Smallie; Dennis Williams, called Anaconda, and Roger Anthony Simon, called ‘Goat Man’.
The latter three are still before the court. They are on trial before Justice Roxanne George for the mass killings which occurred in February 17, 2008.
The witness had earlier testified that he was with the men when they attacked the Island located in the Essequibo region.
However, while testifying on behalf of the defense, Caesar told the court that none of the men were present at the time of the incident.
Under cross -examination by State Counsel, Diana Kaulesar, the witness told the court that he never heard the name, ‘Smallie’ until after the Bartica massacre. Caesar also told the court that he does not even know the accused Mark Royden Williams, who is called ‘Smallie.’
The witness denied that Williams is his friend and he was testifying before the court to help him.
He told the court that he simply wanted to have a clear conscience. He said that was the only reason he was testifying.
Pressed further about how he came to testify on behalf of the defence, the witness claimed that he was merely informed by the Prison administration that he needed to be at Court to give evidence in the matter.
He said too that he had always desired to tell what he knew about the massacre, but he never had the chance.
Prosecutor Kaulesar then reminded the witness that he was given an opportunity to speak right before he was sentenced, but he said nothing about not knowing the men on trial.
Caesar also refuted statements in which he had purportedly identified the accused.
He instead claimed that the statement was written by Detective Sarrabo and that he never called the name of the men.
He told the court that he never got a telephone call to contact his relative, friend or lawyer before he gave the statement.
Although the Prosecutor suggested to Caesar that he was lying to the court, he was resolute that he was telling the truth.
According to facts presented by the prosecution earlier in the trial, on February 17, 2008 at Bartica, Michael Caesar, called “Mikey”, or ‘Capone’ travelled from Nabaclis, East Coast Demerara along with other members of the Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins gang, to Bartica, Essequibo River.
When the boat reached the location, Caesar was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle along with two magazines, and he was dressed in a soldier’s uniform.
Caesar and others left the boat and went to the Bartica Police Station, and within minutes, gunshots could be heard. Sometime after, he returned with others in a vehicle, carrying two chests made of steel, a bullet-proof vest and more guns.
There, ‘Fineman” shot six men who were put to lie on the stelling, after which the gang members re-entered the boat with the items.
The group then joined a jeep and travelled to Linden, where they hid and divided the money and gold. He then left the jurisdiction on March 8, 2009, but a police officer travelled to Suriname and brought him back.
Caesar was held at Springlands Police Station and then taken to Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Eve Leary Georgetown.
At CID headquarters, he made a written caution statement which was witnessed by Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum in the presence of a Justice of the Peace.
In the caution statement, Caesar admitted, among other things, that three weeks prior to the incident, he was informed that they were going on a “big wuk.” He related that the accused spoke of joining the boat behind Pegasus Hotel and travelling to Nabaclis, where others joined them. Caesar was captured in earlier 2009, in Suriname, one year after being on the run.
Zaheer Zakir, Shane Fredericks, Ron Osborne, Dexter Adrian, Irving Ferreira, Abdool Yassin Jr., Deonarine Singh, Errol Thomas, Ronald Gomes, Irwin Gilkes, Ashraf Ally Khan and Baldeo Singh, were killed during the brazen attack .
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