Depositions of deceased Police Inspectors read into evidence

Bartica Massacre High Court Trial

The depositions of two deceased witnesses, were yesterday read into evidence at the trial of Dennis Williams, called ‘Anaconda,’ Mark Royden Williams, called ‘Smallie’ and Roger Simon, called ‘Goat Man’ who have been indicted for the massacre of the 12 persons at Bartica in 2008.

The charge against the trio, is that on February 17, 2008, they murdered Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir, and Constables Shane Fredericks and Ron Osborne, Edwin Gilkes, Dexter Adrian, Irving Ferreira, Deonarine Singh, Ronald Gomes, Ashraf Khan, Abdool Yasseen, Errol Thomas, and Baldeo Singh.

Former Chief Magistrate K.A. Juman-Yassin, who was appointed special prosecutor to conduct the preliminary inquiry into the matter, was called to the stand, to read the depositions of now deceased Police Inspectors; Leroy Alexander and Gerald Niewenkirk.

After hearing submissions from both the prosecution and defence, Justice Roxane George, who is presiding over the matter, ruled that the depositions were admissible. The documents were thereafter tendered and admitted as exhibits in the trial.

The court heard from Inspector Alexander’s evidence, that he was in his room watching a cricket match on the night in question about 21:30 hours, when he heard a series of rapid, loud explosions, coming from  south of the Bartica Police Station.

As Yassin read, the court then heard Alexander’s account of thereafter seeing people running and hearing screams along the streets, as the explosions he suspected to be gunshots, continued on for about an hour.

Alexander, who was at that time attached to the Bartica Police Station, had spoken in his evidence of making futile efforts to contact the station on the telephone.

His deposition then went on to detail Corporal Winter contacting him, and telling him “something,” as a result of which they both “took cover.”

After the suspected gunshots ceased; Alexander is noted as explaining that he and Winter then went across to the station where they observed that a metal and wooden safe had been broken into; and items; among them, guns and ammo; were missing.

Alexander, had then proceeded to detail, discovering the bodies of each of the 12 men killed that night.

He had said, that after making checks, in and around the Station compound, he found the lifeless and bloodied bodies of Lance Corporal Zakir, and Constables Fredericks and Osborne, all bearing suspected gunshot wounds.

Amidst those bodies, the court heard that the Inspector recovered a number of spent rifle shells at the scene.

After receiving certain information, the court heard from the deposition, that Alexander and Winter, then went across to the Bartica Stelling, where he found the bodies of Deonarine and Baldeo Singh, Gomes, Khan and Yasseen.

He noted that these five men were all lying face down, each with what appeared to be a gunshot wound at the back of their heads.

The witness had said, that Ferreira was found at a residence, slumped in a sitting position in a corner, bloodied and mortally wounded from suspected gunshot injuries.

Adrian’s body, Alexander had said, was discovered slumped over the steering wheel of the vehicle he was driving.

Meanwhile, Thomas’ lifeless body was discovered some distance from his home.

Banks DIH security guard, Edwin Gilkes, who was clad in his uniform, died at the hospital. He had been bleeding profusely from a suspected gunshot injury to the chest.

Alexander had also spoken of visiting those injured during the alleged attack, at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Niewenkirk’s deposition detailed his only role in the matter; that of conducting an identification parade, in which Simon was placed.

The court heard, as Yassin read from this deposition, where Niewenkirk explained that the witness to the ID parade, positively identified Simon in less than one minute, as being one of the persons involved in the 12 murders.

According to the deposition, after Niewenkirk told Simon that he had been positively picked out in the parade, he responded, “I don’t know wah y’all talking about.”

The case continues on January 3, at 9am, at the High Court in Georgetown.

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