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Murder trial of Bartica massacre accused continues

The trial for three remaining accused in the Bartica massacre began on Wednesday morning with the prosecution’s address to the Jury.

Prosecutor Diana Kawlesar in her address reread the charge, which states that on February 17, 2008, when persons engrossed in the 20/20 Cricket games, heavily armed gunmen drew their boats ashore and opened fire.

The men then made their way to the police outpost where they again opened fire, during which time passersby were shot. On their way off the island the gunmen also shot and killed five other persons, who were forced to lie on the ground at the time.

In total, 12 persons were killed that day.

Following protocol, Kaulesar advised the Jury of 12 on assessing the witnesses in not only what they had to say but also their demeanor and how they presented their statements. The jury was told to listen carefully to what the witnesses had to say when the time came, since it will be up to them to accept or not accept what the witnesses had to say. The prosecutor also informed the 12 jurors that they will not be merely onlookers during the course of the trial, and they were urged to be impartial and not to bring any biases to the courtroom. They are also not to express compassion any party in the trial or bring to fore what friends or family might have said on the matter; only what is said in court is to be taken into consideration in making a decision. They were also informed that they would be given the chance to question the witnesses as they took to the stand. Additionally, they were reminded that the incident took place eight years ago and so witnesses may not remember all the details. As such, there may be inconsistencies, but this Kaulessar said should not deter from the truth. The prosecutor then mentioned one other issue for the jurors to take into consideration during the course of the trial, and that is circumstantial evidence. They were encouraged to draw inferences.

The Jury of 12 was selected on Tuesday, following the confession of two of the initial five accused in the matter.

Mark Williams, Denis Williams, and Roger Simon, the remaining defendants are represented by Attorneys-at-law Safir Hussain, Peter Hugh, and Roger Year wood.

Kaulessar in association with Stacy Goodings are leading the prosecution.

Presently a void dire matter is ongoing on the case in Court Five at the High Court, before Justice Roxanne George.