Attorney’s for Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan have responded to the US government’s requests and objections and provided the information asked for, namely a summary of prospective testimony provided to Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As it relates to Elizabeth Persaud, Khan’s attorney Diarmuid White, in a document addressed to the presiding Judge, Dora Irizarry, the “Prosecutors in the United States have proffered to the court in which Shaheed Khan is being prosecuted, that Khan and his associates, suspecting that Devendra Persaud—described by the prosecutors as “a cocaine distributor for the Khan organization”—was cooperating with United States law enforcement officials, threatened Persaud’s wife, Elizabeth Persaud, and child at gunpoint, as his wife later informed Persaud in a consensually recorded telephone call.”
White pointed out that Khan seeks to depose Persaud and to elicit testimony from her that the recorded telephone call was not genuine, but had been orchestrated in advance by Devendra Persaud via an earlier non-recorded communication with his wife in order to manufacture evidence for subsequent use in the event his planned escape from the United States failed.
Khan also seeks to depose Elizabeth Persaud concerning the nature and timing of her acquaintance with Khan and concerning her knowledge of the significance and meaning of certain of the entries in notebooks or ledgers maintained by Devendra Persaud, and the handwriting therein.
As it relates to Dion Coates, it was pointed out that Coates was a lifelong friend of a prospective prosecution witness, who kept Coates apprised of her activities.
According to White, at a deposition of Coates she would contradict the testimony of the prospective prosecution witness testimony that the witness previously gave at a trial of another individual in several material respects, including the circumstances surrounding the removal of drugs from an apartment in New York City then occupied by the witness.
Khan has also agreed to comply with its obligations under Rule 26.2 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure regarding prior statements of defense witnesses.
White also informed Judge Irizarry that Khan does not object, in principle, to the Court or a magistrate judge presiding over the depositions via webcam and ruling on objections.
It was pointed out, however, that an American judicial officer presiding over a proceeding being conducted in Guyana might be viewed as encroaching on the nation’s sovereignty.
“In addition, it does not appear that a magistrate judge is empowered to rule dispositively on objections regarding testimony to be admitted at a criminal trial.”
As it relates to conducting the depositions during the week of March 30, 2009—not necessarily on that date, White further informed Irizarry that it seems to be the earliest time feasible, since the High Court of Guyana will not convene again regarding the ‘letter rogatory’ until Monday, March 16, 2009, “and since during the week of March 23, 2009, three days are occupied by a prospective audibility hearing and the appearance of potential jurors to complete questionnaires.”
White also added that although both parties will be reviewing questionnaires during the week of March 30, it would seem that the parties are capable of multi-tasking and delegating the review of the questionnaires or the conducting of depositions to one or more attorneys, of which the government now has four assigned to the case.
“At the Government’s suggestion, defense counsel will be prepared to conduct the depositions over two days, if necessary….Finally, the defendant sees no valid basis for reconsideration of the Court’s order granting the defendant’s Rule 15 motion…That the number of witnesses has been narrowed should weigh in the defendant’s favour, not against him…Moreover, since, in the interim, the Court has ruled that alleged threats to Elizabeth Persaud are relevant and are not inadmissible under Rule 403, the need to depose Ms. Persaud has become far greater….
“Her prospective testimony at a deposition will not be merely “impeaching” evidence, but will flatly contradict evidence that the threats actually occurred.”
Feb 28, 2020Guyana’s ‘Lady Jags’ go down to Mexico; focus now turn to round-of-16 Guyana’s ‘Lady Jaguars’ went down to group winners Mexico by a 0-3 margin last night at the Olimpico Felix Sanchez...
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I refer readers to my column titled, “Claudette Singh, Lennox Shuman, GECOM and tragic Guyana” of Saturday, February... more
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