Yesterday, once again, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud on behalf of the Guyana Police Force went to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court to secure a provisional warrant for Barry Dataram who is already in their custody.
However, in a twist of events, the application was not made by Mr. Persaud but by Attorney –at-law Anil Nandlall who was retained by the Guyana Police Force. At the beginning of the hearing, Mr. Nandlall pointed out to the court that he needed time to peruse the documents given to him by the police, since he was only retained an hour earlier.
Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson granted the request.
After a few moments, the matter was called again. Mr. Nandlall, upon seeing Dataram’s two lawyers, Vic Puran and Glen Hannoman, contended that “these two have no right being in the courtroom for the proceedings”.
Nevertheless, Mr. Puran sought to continue his objections before Magistrate Robertson. He first pointed out to the court that according to law, the court is required to receive evidence and consider evidence.
“As set out in the law the evidence must be authenticated documents, these documents which purport to certify and authenticate the document before you, were issued on June 10, 2008.”
“This document ‘the certificate of true copy’ was a part of the application by the state in the Dataram matter application in June 2008 and the entire matter was quashed by the Full Court,” Puran pointed out.
Puran further contended that the applicant would be relying on the Fugitive Offender’s Act of 2009. The Act cannot be used retroactively when one takes into account an authentication which existed prior to the amendment when there is nothing on the record of the informant to show that these offences do not offend the double criminality rule.
“There is nothing to show that they are live offences in the United States, having regard that the warrant for these offences in the US was issued in 2004”.
“As such, the informant under oath is further defective in that it does not state anywhere that these offences would still be alive in Guyana and hence the applicant has to rely on the amendment and without the amendment he would have to rely on the Full Court ruling”.
In his application Nandlall said that he is merely applying for the warrant on the evidence that was handed over to the court.
This evidence, he pointed out, is an indictment which was issued by the United States of America Government along with an arrest warrant both of which emanated from the US.
Nandlall subsequently said in open court, “There is no request”. Nandlall further contended that Dataram’s lawyer should not have been in court for the proceedings and more so make objections to the application of an arrest warrant.
The Magistrate has not made a ruling nor did she issue a warrant for Dataram who is currently in police custody.
Meanwhile, an hour later the writ which was filed in the High Court by Dataram’s lawyer was called again by Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire.
Mr. Puran further informed Justice George-Wiltshire that the Magistrate had issued no warrant. Justice George-Wiltshire further enquired from Dataram’s lawyer whether he was present for the hearing in the Magistrates’ court.
Justice George-Wiltshire then issued a Nisi order calling on the Commissioner of Police to show cause why Dataram should continue to be detained.
That matter will be called again today at 12.
Dataram was arrested on Wednesday last at his West Bank Demerara home. Initially, the police had said that he was being held on a provisional warrant.
However, one day after his arrest the police sought to secure a warrant in the Magistrates’ Court. The police then informed Dataram’s lawyer that he is being held for trafficking in narcotics.
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