The two women who are on trial for the 2012 murder of the American citizen have been found guilty.
However a probation report have been ordered before sentence is passed. The two women are US citizen Hemwattie Abdulla, 43, called “Anita Nazeema Khan,” formerly of Albion Corentyne and of Ozone Park, New York, USA; and her accomplice, Surojinie Tirmaul, 49, of Belvedere New Housing Scheme, Corentyne, Berbice.
They were convicted of murdering Abdool Shakeel Majid, called “Shakiel,” a citizen of the USA, between April 23 and April 27, 2012 in Berbice. There was an arrangement whereby Surojinie Tirmaul called “Surojnie” and “Usha” paid money to a third person, Pooran Jhadoo, at the request of Hemwattie Abdulla called “Annie” and “Anesa”. Tirmual was reportedly paid US$5000 to hire somebody to kill Majid.
They were on trial before justice Sandil Kissoon and a mixed jury in the Berbice High Court.
Abdulla was represented by prominent attorney Mursalene Bacchus in association with Arund Gossai. Trimaul was represented by attorney Nigel Hughes. The state case was presented by Special Prosecutor Ganesh.
Earlier caution statements reportedly made by both women that implicated them both in the crime were admitted into evidence. The defence had objected strongly to the admission of the statements and a lengthy voir dire was held. At the conclusion of prosecution case both women gave unsworn statement from the dock proclaiming their innocence.
Justice Kissoon had deferred his summing up to today after both the defence and prosecution had addressed the jury on Monday.
The judge took a few hours to sum up the case to the jury after which they retired.
The jury forewoman when questioned on both occasion by the registrar returned with separate unanimous verdict of guilty of murder.
Mr. Bacchus stated that he would abide by the verdict of the court on his client Abdulla. Mr. Hughes made a stirring plead of mitigation on behalf of his client, Trimaul. He begged for mercy and asked for leniency. He said his client has never been in any problems before and from the evidence, his client would have been minimally involved.
Prosecutor Hira in his address said that the women’s actions were ruthless. He said from the autopsy reports Majid would have endured a painful death. Hira lamented that from the women’s caution statements, they were equally culpable. Their actions were well planned.
He asked for that the maximum sentence, either death or life imprisonment. The prosecution case was that around 07:40 hrs on April 27, the body of a man was found with his scalp missing and other injuries to his body on the No. 56 Village, Corentyne foreshore.
The remains were only identified on May 16, 2014, when a brother visited Guyana after becoming suspicious about the wife’s behaviour.
Police was able to crack the case after the woman, who had returned to the United States when the man went missing, returned to Guyana from the United States and reported to the New Amsterdam Police Station to identify her slain husband’s body after he was found.
The state called 13 witnesses in the high profile murder trial. After calling the respective attorneys to bench, Justice Kissoon order a probation report for March 29, before passing sentences on the women. It was also reported that an official from the US Embassy was present in court.
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