Twenty-two-year old Arnim Griffith, of West Ruimveldt Housing Scheme, was yesterday charged with the murder of Guyana Power and Light Security Officer, Clifford Peters.
Griffith, who made a court appearance before Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson, at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court was not required to plead to the indictable offence of murder.
It is alleged that Griffith on May 4, 2009 at Lamaha Park, murdered Clifford Peters. He was represented by Attorney at Law Basil Williams, who said that the case is one of the “tragedies of the justice system”.
He explained that his client was charged without any proper evidence linking him to the crime, further adding that Griffith has no previous antecedents.
Williams said that Griffith is gainfully employed with his father who is a contractor. The lawyer stated that on the day in question Griffith was stopped whilst riding his uncle’s motorcycle. He said that the police requested the documents for the motorcycle. His uncle took the documents to the police station. According to the lawyer, Griffith was taken to the Brickdam Police Station where he was booked for robbery under arms.
He said that his client was kept for 72 hours, after which the police placed him on an identification parade with 14 other persons.
Williams said that the police claimed that an eyewitness picked him out of the 14 persons, thus he was charged.
“I’m aggrieved by this situation and I know that the police are doing this for a publicity stunt, because everyone knows that the police don’t use forensic works in their investigations” Williams posited.
The lawyer further stated that his client has a sound alibi, which would be substantiated during the preliminary inquiry.
Williams said that the only reason why the police rushed to charge his client was because he had filed habeas corpus proceedings in the High Court. The police were required to produce the suspect yesterday.
Williams also requested for the matter to be kept before the Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson, or if that was not possible she can direct it to a less busy court.
Police Prosecutor Denise Griffith told the court that contrary to what Williams stated, the case is very straightforward. The prosecutor said that the accused was stopped and was told by the police of the suspicion that he and others were wanted for the murder of Clifford Peters.
The prosecutor also asked that the file be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for further advice.
Bail was nevertheless denied and the accused is expected to make another court appearance on June 5.
Clifford Peters, a retired Senior Superintendent of Police, was shot several times in the head and chest and died en route to the hospital on Monday last.
At the time of his death he along with a crew from Guyana Power and Light were removing illegal wires in the Lamaha Park area.
There was speculation that Peters was targeted for the jewellery he normally wears. His colleagues and family were of the opinion that he was killed because of the work he was doing.
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