Nessa Gopaul PI… Defence attorney makes no-case submission
Attorney for the number two accused in the preliminary inquiry (PI) into the death of 16-year-old Queen’s College student, Neesa Lalita Gopaul, Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, on Wednesday submitted that his client, Jarvis Small, has no case to answer in relation to the death of the teen.
The senior lawyer made a no-case submission before the presiding court head Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Along with Small, the number one accused Bibi Gopaul, mother of the deceased, is also charged with the teen’s death. She is represented by Attorney-at-law Vic Puran who was absent on Wednesday.
De Santos was responding to the prosecution’s evidence which was given throughout the PI.
On June 14, state prosecutor Pritima Kissoon closed her case, putting forward that there was enough evidence to get a committal for the two accused.
De Santos refuted all the evidence provided by the prosecution. He said that there was no evidence provided that could link his client to committing the crime. He specifically claimed that the prosecution provided no admissible evidence in this regard.
The lawyer further put forward an authority that was directly related to suspicious evidence. De Santos spoke of the 1945 court case in British Guiana of Thomas vs. Balla and Ramcharran.
De Santos said that the principle of suspicion, no matter the magnitude, is not proof.
He further said that “suspicion plus suspicion equals suspicion” and he opined that that was the case of the prosecution.
De Santos had spoken and touched on certain evidence brought out during the PI and spoke of it as being inadequate to prove that his client had committed the crime.
The matter will resume on July 19. Kissoon is expected to reply to De Santos’s submissions and Puran is also expected to make himself available to make his submission in relation to his client.
Jarvis Small and Bibi Gopaul are accused of the October 2010, murder of Neesa Gopaul on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway. The girl’s body was found in a creek tucked inside of a suitcase a short distance from an abandoned resort.