THE high-profile ‘Bartica massacre’ murder trial did not start on Friday, since Justice Roxane George, the five attorneys representing the five accused and the three state prosecutors had to address pre-trial legal issues.The matter is now expected to commence on Tuesday when the 12-member jury will be empanelled.Justice George discharged the waiting panel of jurors after several legal issues arose and had to be ironed out in the High Court in the presence of the accused quintet.
More than 30 witnesses are expected to testify in the much-anticipated trial which should end in late November.
The state is being represented by prosecutors Diana Kaulesar, Tuanna Hardy and Narissa Leander, while the defence attorneys are Roger Yearwood, Madan Kissoon, Saphier Hussain, Maxwell McKay and Peter Hugh.
The five accused Mark Royden called ‘Durant Williams’, Dennis Williams aka ‘Anaconda’, Clebert Reece called ‘Chi-Chi’, Michael Caesar and Roger Simon allegedly murdered 12 men at Bartica on February 17, 2008.
The five are facing 12 counts of murder, one count of terrorism, one count of unlawful wounding and three counts of break and enter and larceny.
During the February 17, 2008 rampage, nine civilians and three cops were gunned down by a group of heavily armed men who descended on Bartica at nightfall.
Those who lost their lives were Bartica residents Edwin Gilkes, Dexter Adrian and Irving Ferreira; policemen stationed at the Bartica Police Station, Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir, Constables Shane Fredericks and Ron Osborne; Deonarine Singh of Wakenaam; Ronald Gomes of Kuru Kururu; Ashraf Khan of Middlesex, Essequibo Coast; Abdool Yasseen; Errol Thomas of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo and Baldeo Singh of Montrose, East Coast Demerara.