Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission – Hearing Number 214 |14 October 2021
More witnesses corroborate prior evidence in the death of Simon Desnousse
Following evidence given by witness Delmas Bistoquet in November 2019, regarding the death of Simon Desnousse in October 1982, the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC) yesterday received corroboration from Harold Bristol whose name came up as witness during the 2019 hearing.
During yesterday’s hearing – Number 214 – in case number 022 filed by Olivia Vincent, Mr Bristol confirmed mostly all the evidence given by Mr Bistoquet in 2019 via Skype in relation to the death of Simon Desnousse, who was allegedly blown up alongside South African Mike Asher by a home-made bomb in October 1982, except for a few minor changes.
This, he said, might be the result of some confusion on the part of Mr Bistoquet since the incident happened quite a while ago.
In his evidence in 2019, Mr Bistoquet stated that on that evening, around 8pm or 8.30pm, he saw the white Toyota Corolla bearing plate number S1122 driving into the Dr Stevenson Delhomme road with Claude Wirtz as the driver.
A few minutes later, Simon drove past alone in his white Station Wagon, into the same road.
He said twenty (20) minutes later, however, Simon’s car returned and Simon was this time sitting in S1122 in the back middle position with Yvon Bonte to his left, another unidentified person to his right and a further two passengers in the front including Claude Wirtz in the front passenger seat.
Mr Bristol confirmed the evidence given by Mr Bistoquet, but however explained that the car, labelled as S1122, was parked for a while in the spot where presently the Seventh Day Adventist Church is at St Louis and that it only moved after Mr Desnousse had drove by in his own car, following him at full speed.
He explained that at that very moment, Mr Bistoquet told him that things were not good since he had noticed army personnel in the car and he knew about Mr Desnousse’s activities at that time.
Mr Bristol said they then moved away from the pavement where they were standing and a few minutes later they saw the car of Mr Desnousse coming back, with two people inside, followed by the other one, with Mr Desnousse in the back seat squeezed between two people.
His statement matched that of Mr Bistoquet given in 2019.
Following the incident, Mr Bristol said he was being followed by state security and had to impose self-curfew, ensuring that he was at home before 6pm.
He added that even Mr Bistoquet was chased on several occasions, before leaving the country.
When asked about Romeo Quatre, Mr Bristol said the road Mr Desnousse took that night leads straight to his house.
Case 0403 – Vincent Padayachy
Ex-Commissioner of Police Ernest Quatre was second witness to appear in open session of yesterday’s hearing, giving evidence in Case 0403 filed by Vincent Padayachy regarding various forms of victimisation endured on political grounds due to his affiliation to the Seychelles National Party (SNP).
In particular, Mr Padayachy claimed that on two occasions his business was attacked and his bungalows set on fire.
He also alleges that one of his clients was attacked while holidaying in one of his bungalows, and he believed that attack to have been a case of mistaken identity and that the assailant had intended to attack him.
Mr Padayachy claimed that Mr Quatre carried out the police investigation in the attack on his client, but never heard the outcome of that investigation.
He said he was told by numerous persons that the attack had been carried out by people who escaped from prison.
Based on the allegations, Mr Quatre said he does remember about the fire at Mr Padayachy’s bungalow, but could not comment on the incident since he was not directly involved in the investigation.
He however noted that normally, fire investigations are normally carried out in conjunction with the fire department and that since it is their field of expertise, they are in a better position to conclude the source and nature of fires.
Mr Quatre also told the commission that he does not deny any possibility of malicious act in the fire.
Regarding the attack on the client, Mr Quatre admitted that he was the one who carried the investigation, with the help of other officers.
He said, based on investigation, evidence showed that the assailant was surprised by the client upon entering the bungalow and from that, a fight started.
He explained that from the struggle, the client received bruises on the arm which were treated at the Beoliere Clinic before being released.
As for the scene of the incident, Mr Quatre said a spot of blood was found on a leaf.
It was concluded that it belonged to the assailant who left it behind while fleeing the scene.
Mr Quatre also explained that the investigation led to no witnesses and that the assailant did not mange to take anything.
He equally noted the incident did coincide with the escape of some prisoners, namely Jose Pillay and Edward Payet who were interrogated by the police after their capture, while no solid evidence was gained from them.
Regarding the blood spot on the scene, Mr Quatre said at that time, no blood or DNA test was done locally.
He explained that in 1993, following a murder case, the family brought in forensic experts from South Africa who worked alongside local officers and during the collaboration, it was only then that they agreed to assist Seychelles with blood and DNA tests.
Another witness before the TRNUC yesterday were general witness Roland Tomking who gave evidences in Case 089 filed by Miche Rangassamy regarding the death of Sergeant Allen Rangassamy during the rebellion of August 1982 and in Case 0115 of the late Jean Dingwall.
Police Assistant Superintendent Jean Toussaint was also before the commission yesterday, giving evidence in Case 0199 of Christopher Sarah.