Murder trial of three Coast Guard ranks continues at Suddie High Court
The trial of three former Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard ranks, charged with the murder of a young Bartica gold dealer, continued yesterday at the Suddie High Court in Essequibo before Justice Franklyn Holder.
The trial which began last week is now engaged in a second voir dire (trial within a trial) to determine the admissibility of caution statements allegedly made by the number two accused, Delon Gordon.
The three accused, Sherwin Harte, the number one accused; Delon Gordon, number two and Deon Greenidge are charged with the August 2009 murder of Dweive Kant Ramdass which took place at Caiman Hole, East Bank, Essequibo.
The three accused are being represented by Attorney at Law Peter Hugh.
The two Privates and a Lance Corporal were manning the Coast Guard RC 12 motor boat in the Essequibo River, when they allegedly confronted Ramdass in a boat at the Parika Stelling.
The soldiers allegedly forced him into their boat and took him to another location in the river where they relieved him of $17M in cash which he was carrying in a box to Bartica for his employer, who operated a gold and diamond business in the city.
The prosecution is trying to prove that the three soldiers strangled Ramdass, took the money he was carrying and threw his body overboard in the vicinity of Bonasika Creek.
They will argue that after murdering Ramdass, the three soldiers returned to the Parika Stelling, where one of their female accomplices was waiting for them.
She is the sister of one of the officers and was reportedly given $5.7M in cash to hold.
According to reports, another portion of the money was recovered by the police during a roadblock exercise.
They were committed to stand trial in the High Court in 2011, by Magistrate Nyasha Williams-Hatmin following an 18-month Preliminary Inquiry at the Vreed en Hoop Magistrate’s Court.
Attorney at law Khemraj Ramjattan, who was assigned to the matter as special prosecutor, had led a total of 14 witnesses to give evidence.
The witnesses included persons who saw when the Coast Guard ranks took Ramdass out of the boat, and when they returned to the boat without him, but with a canister that he was carrying.