Superintendant of Police Watts and Senior Superintendant Alves were on June 4 arraigned on charges connected to the December 6, 2011 shooting of APNU protesters with rubber bullets on Hadfield Street.
The two senior policemen were each charged with five counts of unlawfully inflicting grievous bodily harm on former PNCR MP Joan Baveghems, Attorney James Bond, Brigadier (ret’d) Edward Collins, Sonia Johnson and William Thomas Dalgety.
The officers pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them by acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
When the case was called on June 4, Watts was absent as he was attending a police training programme. The matter was then adjourned to the following day when he answered to the charges.
The jointly charged duo was admitted to self-bail and ordered to attend Court Three on June 20.
Meanwhile, stemming from the said incident, protesters Bond and Collins were separately arraigned on charges of holding a meeting and speaking at a meeting which allegedly occurred on December 6, 2011 also.
Further, Bond, Collins, Bruce Whatley, Abyana Joseph, Fitzroy Corlette, David Hinds, Keyno Henry, Clifton Newman, Winston Greaves, Hamilton Holder, Casey Duncan and Adrianna Moses were all charged with taking part in an illegal procession.
The jointly-charged defendants pleaded not guilty to this charge which was later dismissed by the presiding magistrate for want-of-prosecution as well as the absence of a file and a prosecutor.
On December 6 last, police opened fire with rubber bullets on APNU protesters on Hadfield Street leaving at least five persons with wounds.
Stabroek News was at the scene when the incident occurred at around 10.15 am. A large group left the Square of the Revolution and headed along Brickdam. They then turned the corner near the NIS and proceeded into Hadfield Street where they were met by about half a dozen armed policemen.
The ranks were heard over a loud speaker urging the crowd to disperse. The crowd failed to heed the warning and at some point there was a clash between ranks and some of the protestors resulting in shots being fired.
The APNU supporters were at the time protesting the results of the general elections.