Mother of Cop detained for Quindon Bacchus killing moves to High Court over son’s “unlawful detention”

Photo- Police Lance Corporal Kristoff De Nobrega; Dead- Quindon Bacchus

Several days after the mother of Police Lance Corporal Kristoff De Nobrega moved to the High Court to challenge what she termed as her son’s “unlawful detention” on close arrest, the rank has been placed on open arrest. The Cop is being investigated for fatally shooting Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara resident, Quindon Bacchus, 23.

In Habeas Corpus proceedings filed on her son’s behalf, Marlin De Nobrega, requested, and was granted an order compelling the Police Commissioner to immediately bring her son before the court to determine whether his detention is lawful.

In the action dated June 23 which was heard the following day by Demerara High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon, the older De Nobrega deposed that her son was held under close arrest by the GPF on June 12 pending an investigation into the death of Bacchus.

Highlighting that Article 139 (4) of the Constitution of Guyana authorises the Police to detain for not in excess of 72 hours, Marlin De Nobrega said that this deadline has already expired.

“Section 10 (8) of the Police (Discipline) Act, Chap 17:0, states that a member of the Force placed under close arrest and charged with an offence against discipline….shall not, unless the Commissioner otherwise directs, be detained under close arrest for a period longer than 24 hours…” she further deposed.

Marlin De Nobrega noted that “Section 10 (9) of the Police (Discipline) Act, stipulates that where it is not practical for a direction to be given by the Commissioner within 24 hours from the time the member of the Force has been placed under arrest…such arrest shall not continue for a period exceeding eight days.”

She, therefore, argued that her son’s detention on close arrest is unlawful. The woman, who is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Kezia Williams, has listed the Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC Police Commissioner (ag) Clifton Hicken and Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC as the respondents.

Police Headquarters said that Bacchus, a father of one, was shot dead on June 10, while in the process of reportedly attempting to sell a gun to Kristoff De Nobrega, an undercover Policeman.

The Police in their statement also noted that Bacchus reportedly shot at the Policeman who returned fire.

De Nobrega’s mother, in her court action, said that she was advised by her son, and believes that during the execution of his duties, the sting operation became compromised and resulted in the death of Bacchus.

Shortly after the killing, a video surfaced, showing that it was the Police rank who shot at Bacchus. Persons have since come forward and claimed that Bacchus and the Policeman were known to each other and that the two had a misunderstanding over a woman.

On Tuesday morning, the Police Force debunked a report published by the Guyana Daily News the previous day in which it was stated that Bacchus was released from custody.

In fact, the Police confirmed that the cop, who was initially placed under close arrest, is now on open arrest and is confined to Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown.

The Police (Discipline) Act states that arrest shall be of two kinds (a) Open arrest – when any member of the Force is placed under open arrest, he shall be deprived of all privileges and leave until the case is disposed of and he shall attend all parades and do duty as required.

And (b) Close arrest– in the case of a member of the Force of or above the rank of inspector, he shall be confined to his quarter under guard, and in the case of any other member of the Force below the rank of inspector to some suitable place in the police station premises other than the prisoners’ cell under guard.

Bacchus’ death is currently being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA). He was laid to rest last Sunday.