Judge orders that cop who killed Quindon Bacchus remains confined under ‘open arrest’ at TSU HQ
A High Court Judge on Monday afternoon heard an application filed by attorney Kezia Williams – who commanded the Police Force to “present the body” of Kristoff De Nobrega, the cop that shot and killed 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus during an alleged undercover operation at Haslington, East Coast Demerara on June 10.
Documents seen by the News Room revealed that attorney Williams filed a Habeas Corpus on De Nobrega’s behalf at the High Court compelling the police to justify their actions to have De Nobrega remain in custody beyond the constitutional 72-hour detention period.
The News Room understands that the State was represented by the Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, who informed Justice Sandil Kissoon that since the case involves a policeman, the investigation is being led by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).
The Solicitor General reportedly informed the Judge that the Police Force cannot investigate one of its own.
As a result, the Judge reportedly ordered that De Nobrega is placed on ‘open arrest’ and that he should remain confined in the compound of the Tactical Services Unit (TSU) under police guard.
Open arrest, as explained to the News Room by the leadership of the Police Force, means that a police rank is deprived of all privileges and leave until the case is disposed of.
Bacchus, a father of one, was shot dead by a plain-clothes police rank on June 10 at Haslington. The police’s version is that he attempted to sell an illegal firearm to the undercover cop who shot him.
However, witnesses have come forward with information that Bacchus and the cop in question knew each other and had an ongoing feud.
The investigation into Bacchus’ death is being handled by the Police Complaints Authority and the Police Commissioner (ag) Clifton Hicken has charged the entity to “expedite” the probe.
According to the official police report, ranks were carrying out an intelligence-led operation in the area during which the plain-clothes rank made arrangements to purchase the firearm from Bacchus who left and then returned with the firearm.
While in the process of handing over the firearm, an alarm was raised which resulted in the now dead man attempting to escape while reportedly shooting at ranks.
Police said the rank returned fire and Bacchus was shot. The firearm was later identified as a .380 pistol with a magazine that had one round.
The News Room understands that Bacchus was reportedly shot six times to the body and once to the head.
Editor’s note: This story initially stated that the attorney representing De Nobrega was attached to the Hughes, Field and Stoby Law Firm, however, even though she remains listed as an ‘Associate’ on the firm’s website, the News Room was subsequently informed that she is no longer employed there. The News Room apologises for any inconvenience caused.