Nov 05, 2009 News
– charges not related to tortured teen
By Latoya Giles
Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson yesterday remanded the two policemen who are ensnared in the alleged torture of a 14-year-old.
Sergeant Narine Lall, 38, who resides in the Leonora Police Compound, and Police Constable Mohanram Dolai, 30, of 101 East Meet-Meer-Zorg, were jointly charged with unlawfully wounding Mulfari Wilfred, between October 28 and October 29, at the Leonora Police Station.
It was further alleged that the two lawmen between October 28 and October 29, unlawfully wounded Deonarine Raffi with the intent to cause actual grievously bodily harm. The men were not charged with the alleged torture of the 14-year-old.
The two men were not required to plead to the two indictable charges. They were represented by attorney at law Hukumchand.
The lawyer asked for the Administration of Justice Act to be applied to the charges.
He said that Sergeant Lall is a serving member of the Guyana Police Force with 20 years of service, that he is attached to the Criminal Investigation Department. Constable Dolai has served the force for the past eight years, he said.
The lawyer stressed the fact that both officers were never charged departmentally or criminally for any offence.
He said that both officers are high performers and have being promoted by their superiors.
He further told the court that Sergeant Lall is married, with three minors, whilst Constable Dolai is a father of one.
Hukumchand noted that the merits and demerits of the case would be subjected to a trial.
He explained that there is no likelihood of the offence being committed again and also that there is no witness tampering.
He argued that the case has had much publicity and a number of high-ranking officials have made certain statements, which may persuade the decision makers.
The lawyer further noted that there is nothing known to the courts that would indicate that the accused would not return to court.
Hukumchand further stated that the offences, which his clients are charged with, are eminently bailable offences, adding that the officers are ordinary public servants from the discipline forces.
The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that there are more charges which are expected to be laid against them.
The prosecution further noted that if bail is to be granted there is the likelihood of the two defendants tampering with witnesses.
The prosecution also stated that the two policemen should have known better, given their years of service.
Attorney at law Hukumchand interjected and told the court that the prosecution has to bring evidence to prove that his clients would tamper with the witnesses.
He also said that his clients were held for 96 hours and no attempt was made by the officers or their family to tamper with any possible witnesses.
The two were denied bail by Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson. They are expected to make a second court appearance on November 19 at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrates Court.
Numerous spectators gathered at the Magistrates’ Court to get a glimpse of the two officers as they entered and left the court. The way that the officers were brought to court sparked loud outbursts by the protestors.
The two officers were sneaked into the court via the back gate. After the charges were read to the lawmen and they were remanded, their colleagues rushed them through the court back gate to a waiting police vehicle.
A number of the protesters were questioning why the officers were given preferential treatments.
The police had arrested a 14 year old, Deonarine Raffi and Mulfari Wilfred in connection with the murder of Regional Chairman Ramnauth Bisram last Tuesday.
They were all taken to the Leonora Police Station where it is alleged that they were tortured. Deonarine Raffi was charged and remanded to prison on Friday after he made a court appearance before Magistrate Ann McCalmon at the Wales Magistrates Court.
His lawyers had alleged that Raffi was severely beaten while in police custody. When he appeared in court his head carried a gaping wound, which carried about 16 stitches.
His tongue was burnt and also he had visible bruises about the body.
The 14-year-old’s genitals were set alight while the officers were questioning him about the murder.
The teen had been in custody since Tuesday and had only received medical attention after this newspaper published the graphic photos.
Bisram, of 11 Canal Number Two, North Section, was found lying in a pool of blood in a bedroom shortly after 16:00 hrs on Monday.
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