The two women, one of them a USA citizen who were on trial for the 2012 murder of the US husband, have been sentenced to death. The sentence was handed down by Justice Sandil Kissoon in the Berbice High Court.
That was after the probation reports which were ordered by the court were read.
The women, US citizen Hemwattie Abdulla, 43, called “Anita Nazeema Khan,” formerly of Albion, Corentyne and of Ozone Park, New York, USA; and her accomplice, Surojinie Permaul, 49, of Belvedere New Housing Scheme, Corentyne Berbice, were on trial for the murder of Abdool Shakeel Majid called “Shakiel.”
Majid, a citizen of the USA, was reportedly killed between April 23 and April 27, 2012 in Berbice. There was an arrangement that saw Seerujnie Permaul called “Surojnie” and “Usha”, paying money to a third person, Pooran Jhadoo, at the request of Hemwattie Abdulla called “Annie” and “Anesa” to kill Majid.
Abdulla was represented by attorney Mursalene Bacchus in association with Arundanauth Gossai. Permaul was represented by Nigel Hughes. The state case was presented by Special Prosecutor Ganesh.
There were two probation reports, which were very detailed in contents. The first on Abdulla stated that Abdulla was the last of 13 children; her mother died in child’s birth. She grew up with her grandparents and is the mother of six, all of whom reside overseas.
She dropped out of school and began working by the age of 13. Her first child was born at the age of 15 and her sixth by the time she was 22.
She eventually migrated to the USA with her husband. Although she was living with her husband, she began having an extra marital affair with Majid whom she met as a taxi driver. Although required to work three days weekly, she would leave the home daily and spend time with Majid. She would lie to her husband when she returned home.
Her husband and family found out and she was put her out of the house. She eventually moved in with Majid and even though her husband asked her to return, she refused because she was happier with Majid.
Permaul’s report was read by Probation and Social Services Officer, Maisie Sheppard. It described Permaul as poor. She was the fourth of eight children. She left school in Standard Four. She was the mother of five from two different unions.
From the age of 14, she was forced into the world of work and did fishing job at sea. She sold fish, crabs and shrimp in the community. At one time, she worked for food and clothing.
Before passing sentence, Justice Kissoon said that despite the Probation reports and the earlier pleas of mitigation, one cannot engage in such conducts. The court cannot turn a blind eye to the events and circumstances that transpired.
Justice Kissoon said that the facts before the court spoke of a calculated plan set by Abdulla to kill the deceased. This plan was set in train for months and involved cross border communication between the two accused in USA ad Guyana.
He said that Abdulla did not choose to carry out her plan in the USA but chose to procure her neighbour in Guyana to find someone here to do the dastardly act.
For a few pieces of silver, which was US$5000, Permaul was lured. She procured her son-in-law to help commit the act.
Justice Kissoon also mentioned the information that Majid was involved in an accident in the USA and got some financial rewards, which might have caused his death.
The court, he said, cannot act otherwise and taking all the circumstances in the case, they will be given the maximum sentence.
The court was then asked to stand as the Marshal read that both Hemwattie Abdulla, called “Anita Nazeema Khan, and Surojinie Permaul were sentenced to death. Although the women showed no emotion earlier, the No.2 accused subsequently collapsed downstairs whilst waiting to be transported to prison.
The prosecution case was that round 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, 2012 when a brother visited Guyana after becoming suspicious about the wife’s behaviour.
Majid who was a former New York taxi driver was murdered shortly after he arrived in Guyana for one of his many visits. The victim and Abdulla got married in December 2011. After the marriage, the woman reportedly made frequent visits to Guyana.
On April 22, the couple visited Guyana for a holiday, and on April 25, Majid and his wife travelled to Berbice in a car that the victim often rented.
His relatives did not hear from him again and during the interim, the wife returned to the United States. The brother in the meanwhile had made a missing person report and had informed the NYPD. He was advised to visit Guyana where a report at the Eve Leary Police Station, but there was no missing person report in Guyana.
Police were able to crack the case after the woman, who had returned to the United States after 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.
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