Nov 01, 2017 News
– Attorney ordered to pay cost for wasting court’s time
Attorney-at-Law, Sanjeev Datadin has been ordered to pay a court cost of $250,000 after he was cited for an abuse of process by Justice Gino Persaud yesterday.
Justice Persaud also struck out the application which sought to quash the murder charge brought against New York-based millionaire Marcus Bisram.
Bisram is charged with the 2016 murder of Berbice carpenter, Faiyaz Narinedatt, who was found dead on the roadway at Number 70 Village, Corentyne, Berbice.
His lawyer, Sanjeev Datadin was ordered to appear in court to address in relation to proceedings related to the highly controversial Bisram murder case.
Datadin had applied to the High Court to have murder charge against Bisram quashed.
Based on his application, the lawyer sought an order nisi to quash the charge laid against his client on the grounds that the indictment is irrational, unreasonable, unfair, an abuse of power, unlawful, unconstitutional, unfair, and without legal foundation.
Last Friday, the Attorney returned to the Court signaling an intention to withdraw the application. He was informed, however, that he needed to provide legal basis to support his decision, since the new Civil Procedure Rules, (CPR) do not make provisions for the belated withdrawal.
But instead of providing the Court with legal arguments to support his move, the Attorney went ahead with filing the notice of withdrawal/discontinuance. His actions annoyed the Judge who was presiding over the matter for the past several weeks.
Justice Persaud noted that he was ready to rule on the case, which he gave precedence over other matters —some dating back to 2008. Justice Persaud had said spent hours perusing in order to come to a conclusion in the matter.
He said that he would not allow the process of the court to be abused.
The Judge had therefore issued an order for Datadin to present himself at the High Court to address the issue.
In his address to the Court yesterday, Datadin said that he regretted not submitting the legal arguments to support his intention to withdraw. He noted, however, that the decision was taken based on instruction he received from his client.
“The last thing we intended to do was offend this Honourable Court,” the lawyer stated apologetically.
The attorney explained that the initial application was based on the view that his client is innocent. Datadin also pointed to claims that the State’s only eyewitness in the matter is a teenager who cannot read or write, and had recanted his statement during the Preliminary Inquiry, (PI) at the Magistrates’ Court.
Solicitor General, Kim Kyte maintained that the State has a solid case against the businessman accused of killing the Berbice carpenter.
Kyte appeared on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Chief Magistrate and the Commissioner of Police, who were named as respondents in the matter. She had contended that Datadin’s move to withdraw the application at this juncture constitutes a waste of judicial time and an abuse of process.
In his ruling, Justice Persaud noted that he reviewed the affidavits and arguments presented in the case and found that there was non-disclosure of information related to the matter.
The Judge noted that his own investigations revealed that Bisram had applied to the High Court on December 13, 2016, to have the advice of the DPP to have Bisram charged, quashed.
Justice Persaud said that the information represented material non-disclosure, since it was not mentioned in the application Datadin presented to the Court.
According to Justice Persaud, an application of this type should be made to the court in utmost good faith. He stressed that the onus was on Bisram’s lawyers to disclose all facts, even if they were not in their favour, and they must have approached the court with “clean hands.”
The Judge noted, too, that the case presented before the court is a troubling one.
Given the circumstances, Justice Persaud struck out the application to quash the murder charge, struck out the notice of withdrawal, and awarded costs to the respondents in the sum of $250,000.
Last November, Narinedatt, a carpenter from Berbice was beaten after he allegedly rebuffed Bisram’s sexual advances. The carpenter was allegedly dumped in the trunk of a car belonging to an acquaintance of the businessman, driven to a public road in Berbice, and the scene made to look like a hit-and-run accident had taken place.
The case has taken several turns with a number of persons implicated for attempting to thwart the course of justice.
Some were placed before the court, for allegedly offering the police bribes on behalf of the wealthy New York-based businessman. The latest development involves eyewitness in the matter.
Meanwhile, New York Judge, Peggy Kuo, filed the Certificate of Extraditability and Order of Commitment, paving the way for Bisram, who was arrested at a New York beach front property, in Far Rockaway, Queens, on July 4, to return to his native Guyana.
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