A 24-year-old labourer has been charged with the murder of dredge owner Ashook Ragghu, who was gunned down on
Vlissengen Road last Monday.
Travis McDougall, of East Ruimveldt Housing Scheme, was remanded when he appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He is accused of slaying the 43-year-old businessman while robbing the victim and his wife, Shyrazadi Ragghu, of $4M.
Prosecutor Inspector Michael Grant told the court that at about 13:00 hours on August 18, last, Ragghu and his wife were travelling in motorcar PGG 8291 along Vlissengen road, when they stopped at the traffic light at the Vlissengen Road and Regent Street junction.
The court heard that the businessman and his wife were cornered by McDougall and an accomplice, who rode up with a CG motorcycle to the driver’s side of their vehicle.
After shooting Ragghu in the chest, the accused and his accomplice allegedly grabbed the victims’ cash-filled haversack, but Mrs. Ragghu held onto it.
Grant reported that Mrs. Ragghu released the bag after the robbers shot her in the thigh. The men then escaped on their motorcycle.
Mr. Ragghu was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, while his wife was hospitalized.
Following investigations by the police, McDougall was arrested and picked out by Mrs. Ragghu during an identification parade.
The Inspector said that the file was sent for advice from the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the murder charge was thereafter instituted against McDougall.
The accused was represented by Attorney-at-Law Kendaise Rodney, who told the Magistrate that detectives, who were identified, used an electrical taser to torture her client. She requested a medical report for her client and promised to address issues relating to the identification parade during the pre-trial hearing.
Her claims were refuted by the Prosecutor, who also said that a medical examination had already been prepared for the accused.
As soon as McDougall exited the courtroom, he was surrounded by a large number of family members who had come to the courthouse to show their support.
Moments before his arraignment, a group of them were standing in front of the courthouse with placards protesting the decision to charge him. They claimed that he was no thief or murderer.
A chorus of disappointment also came from former murder accused Shaka Chase who said that “they had charged his friend” the same way they did to him. He, who was acquitted by the DPP last year of the charge of killing a cop, and another woman, broke down in tears as they left the courthouse.
McDougall is scheduled to return to court on October 6 before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.
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