Jul 08, 2013 News
Relatives of Dwieve Kant Ramdass are relieved that justice has been done, but at the same time they feel sympathetic towards the people who have been sentenced to death for his murder.
Former coast guard ranks Sherwin Hart, Devon Gordon and Deon Greenidge were found guilty of Ramdass’ murder which occurred on August 20, 2009 at Caiman Hole in the Essequibo River.
One of Ramdass’ brothers, Steve Persaud told Kaieteur News that he personally feels that justice has been served for his brother’s murder. But he said that the family is not rejoicing. Persaud recounted that for the last four years, his family has had many sad moments.
“This was not easy for my family….from day one I was there at Caiman Hole looking for my brother’s body,” Persaud said. He explained that when he and two other brothers were taken to the spot where Ramdass’ body was thrown, they began to cry. Persaud said he remembers sitting his brothers down and saying that vengeance is with the Lord. He said that after his brother’s body was found he was very happy, much to the surprise of other relatives.
“They were all wondering why I was happy…and I told them I’m happy because I have a body to bury,” Persaud said.
According to Persaud, he was present at every sitting of the Preliminary Inquiry of the matter, which lasted for about 18 months.
“I was there when the PI started …I never missed any of the court dates,” Persaud told Kaieteur News.
He said that during the High Court hearing, it was very painful sitting there and listening to certain facts of the case. “Many times my sisters would get up and leave the court when certain things were being said,” Persaud told this newspaper.
He said that at times, the family would get frustrated and angry but they were reminded that as Christians they should have faith.
Persaud said that it was faith that kept his family going and never giving up.
He stated that although he somewhat supports the death penalty, his older sister and brother do not, and they had wanted a sentence for the men.
Persaud said that his family is in no way rejoicing, since it’s hard to see three men “just go down”. He said that hatred is one feeling the family does not hold for anyone.
In terms of the justice system, Persaud said he fully believes that the system has worked. Also Persaud said that the police have to be commended for how they conducted their investigations. Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell said that any successful prosecution speaks well of the Force. Brumell told Kaieteur News that he hopes that investigators would continue to do proper work which would in term increase the prosecution rate.
Last Tuesday the three ex-Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard ranks were sentenced to death by Justice Franklyn Holder.
The judge had earlier summed up the case and the 12-member jury returned later in the afternoon with a unanimous verdict after a little more than 30 minutes of deliberations.
The prosecution’s case was that the men forced Ramdass into their boat and took him to the aforementioned location where they relieved him of $17M in cash he was carrying in a box to Bartica for his employer. They then dumped him overboard. Senior State Prosecutor Judith Gildharie-Mursalin presented the case, while Attorney at Law Latchmie Rahamat represented the three accused.
Sixteen prosecution witnesses and one defence witness gave evidence in the three-month long trial. The trial had begun in April, when the judge conducted a voir dire, to determine the admissibility of three caution statements which Hart, Gordon and Greenidge gave to the police.
The defence brought up challenges that the men were beaten while in police custody. All of the police witnesses denied this claim.
The men in their defence, said that they did not write the caution statements and that the documents were written by the police ranks.
At the end of the voir dire, it was determined that the three statements were given freely, thus prompting the main trial to commence.
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