Thirty-nine-year-old Regan Rodrigues, also known as ‘Grey Boy’, is expected to appear in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow, before Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman for her to commit him to stand trial in the High Court for the murder of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing.
This comes weeks after the Magistrate was told by Justice Dawn Gregory, an appeal judge that she will have to comply with the order of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and commit him for the murder.
Despite Magistrate Latchman having to comply with the order of the DPP, the matter which has been appealed by the Magistrate is still ongoing in the Appeal Court and Rodrigues’s committal will not affect her appeal. Her reason was that there was insufficient evidence to commit.
The Magistrate is contending that any law which seems to give the DPP that power is clearly an interference with the independence of the judiciary and such law ought to be declared null and void.
She is being represented by Attorney-at-law Arud Gossai.
The lawyer in an interview with this publication stated that the Court of Appeal agrees that the issues raised by the Magistrate in her appeal are extremely important and will be given a full hearing.
Particulars of the charge against Rodrigues are that on March 10, 2015 at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, he murdered Crum-Ewing.
The lawyer disagrees with the ruling of the Judge as they believe that a direction from the DPP to the Magistrate to commit an accused person to stand trial is a clear interference with the independence of the judiciary.
Article 122 of the Constitution is extremely clear on this point of interference with the judiciary. The lawyer argues that the DPP cannot interfere in the judicial determination of the Magistrate.
Attorney Gossai added that the DPP herself failed to follow the procedure set out in section 72 of the Criminal Law Procedure Act as she did not request the notes from the Magistrate as she was required to do under the said section 72.
The DPP did request the notes after the first discharge but she did not request the notes after further evidence was taken.
During the Preliminary Inquiry (PI), Magistrate Latchman ruled that while the court was satisfied that Crum-Ewing was shot with a gun retrieved from a house at Riverview, Ruimveldt which was occupied by Rodrigues, there was no evidence that Rodrigues “used the gun, pulled the trigger and shot Crum-Ewing.”
Crum-Ewing died as a result of haemorrhage and shock due to multiple gunshot wounds.
This was supported by the evidence of Government Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh who testified that Crum-Ewing received five gunshot wounds- one of which was at close range.
The Magistrate said that the court believed that Crum-Ewing died as a result of gunshot wounds.
Fourteen oral statements given to police by Rodrigues were admitted to form part and parcel of evidence in the matter by Magistrate Latchman.
However, the Magistrate ruled that these oral statements did not implicate Rodrigues in the murder.
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