Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part III

The Events of November 18, 1973

Paragraphs 98 thru 99. - An Examination in Detail [Part 8] - The Evidence of Innocent Belmar [Part A]

98. Asst. Supt. Belmar was separately represented before the Commission by Mr. Theodore Guerra, a barrister from Trinidad and Tobago. One witness, Cosmos Nurse, was called by him; but on his behalf, and on its own motion, the Commission summoned Ann Alexander and Inspector Andrews of the Grenville police station.

In the course of his examination in chief Belmar spoke, among other things, about a report in May, 1973, concerning the theft of 50 rifles (.303) from Presentation College where they had been kept for use by the Cadet Corps. He said he had personally recovered 20 of the rifles and had charged persons with the possession of the weapons. He spoke also about larceny of explosives - 5 boxes at 50 lbs. per box - from Wimpey & Co., in Telescope, St. Andrew's, in February, 1974.

He said that in November 1973, Sgt. 94 Charles gave him a quantity of gun-powder and some fuses and that, apart from that, there had been crimes of arson and the smashing of show windows in respect of which some of the offenders, a minority of them, have been discovered.

99. Following immediately upon these disclosures, Belmar spoke about November 18, 1973.

He said that about one week before November 18 he received certain information and as a consequence he boarded up the entrance to the Grenville police station which faced the sea. The station has two entrances. The other is on Victoria Street. He also posted armed sentries every night outside the station.

On November 18, 1973, he was in St. George's. He left about 2-2:30 p.m. for his home at Birchgrove via the Beaulieu/Grand Etang road. During the course of his journey he received certain information as a consequence of which he used the telecommunication equipment in his car to call the Grenville police station. He gave certain instructions to Inspector Andrews and went into hiding.

Two motor cars passed. Two persons including Kenrick Radix, were in one while the other car - 1858 - driven by Hudson Austin had four persons, including Strachan, Daniel and Whiteman. The cars were proceeding towards Grenville. He gave the cars some time and then he followed them.

He was asked what did he expect to happen in Grenville, "having regard to your conversation on the telecom with the Grenville Police" and his answer was "I expected that there would have been an attack some time on the (Grenville) police station."

When Belmar arrived in Grenville he saw the two cars parked below the balcony of Bhola's house. The six occupants were standing outside the cars. He also met policemen and police aides there.

He said he then spoke to Austin and Bishop. According to him he told Austin that he suspected both cars were carrying arms and ammunition and that he was going to carry out a search on both cars. He then searched both cars.

In Austin's car, the first to be searched, he alleged he found one .303 rifle in the magazine of which was 5 rounds of .3030 ammunition. Belmar claims that he told Austin "this is one of the rifles you all stole from the College to blow up Grenada." He said Austin made no reply. The serial number of that rifle is 30.

Having found nothing else in Austin's car he then searched Bishop's car "and in the dash board compartment of that car fifteen (15) rounds of .22 bullets were found." Belmar said he told Bishop "the police searching your house and you removing it and put it in car." Bishop made no reply.

Belmar alleged that he then told all six men they were under arrest and directed a policeman to take them to the police station. The policeman left with three of the men, Bishop, Strachan and Whiteman.

In the meantime, Radix, Daniel and Austin, who according to Belmar, were then standing on the steps of Bhola's house, ran upstairs into the house. Belmar said he called out to Bhola telling him that the men inside his house are prisoners and he must put them out. Bhola closed the door and went towards the drawing room.

Belmar sent a policeman to the station. He brought back a loud-hailer through which Belmar addressed Bhola. This he said occurred a long time after the initial arrest. Bhola told him "Mr. Belmar you can come but I want you alone to come to my house."

Belmar went into the house and saw Radix, Austin and Daniel lying on the floor in the drawing room. Radix was "operating the telephone." Belmar told them to get up and, with Bhola as a vanguard and Belmar in the rear, they descended the stairs. Belmar told the policemen and the police aides - "not one man raise a finger at anyone" -

The three men were then taken to the police station.

According to Belmar he did not go to the police station with them but remained on the street for sometime "continuing investigation into the same matter and had very specific reasons for remaining around."

The two cars were later taken to the Grenville police station about one or two hours after.

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