Barry Dataram’s arrest, according to his lawyers, seems to be a classic case of the cart before the horse. Yesterday, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud moved to the Magistrates’ Court to seek a provisional warrant.
This application for the provisional warrant was filed before Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson some 20 hours after Dataram’s arrest.
Present at yesterday’s hearing was one of Dataram’s attorneys, Vic Puran, who strongly objected to Mr. Persaud’s application for the warrant.
Puran further objected to the conduct of the Crime Chief who, while in court, approached the Magistrate’s bench and appeared to lean to be whispering to her. He also told the court that the police actions are totally an abuse of process since his client is already in police custody.
Puran further told the court that this is not the first time that the Crime Chief has caused the arrest of Dataram for extradition without a warrant and on each occasion he advanced “investigations into trafficking in narcotics” as the reason for his arrest.
However to date no charges have ever been laid against Dataram in relation to narcotics trafficking in the local courts.
Seelall Persaud then stated in open court that Dataram was arrested by police for investigation into narcotics trafficking.
After listening to the objections, the Magistrate adjourned the matter and did not issue the sought after provisional warrant. The matter will be called again sometime today when the police will once again seek to secure a provisional warrant.
Dataram’s lawyers, yesterday afternoon, moved to the High Court to petition for a writ of habeas corpus before Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire.
Puran stated that the defence team is contending that Dataram’s arrest is unlawful since the police only sought to secure a provisional warrant, hours after his arrest.
The lawyers further contended that the “investigation into trafficking in narcotics” is a bogus explanation by the Guyana Police Force to mask the illegal arrest of Dataram.
That matter too has been adjourned and will be called again today.
Dataram was arrested on Wednesday at his West Bank Demerara home and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department, Eve Leary. Initially, the police had stated that Dataram was arrested on a provisional warrant with a view to being extradited to the United States of America.
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