Days after one of the three men charged with a multi-million-dollar robbery at the Princess Casino, told Magistrate Judy Latchman that he does not trust the court, the final witness is expected to testify on September 24.
Griffith, 29, of Bagotville, West Bank Demerara; Junior Stuart, 30, of Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown and Andre Blackman, 35, of Middle Street, McDoom, East Bank Demerara, are accused of robbing Daniel Roberts and Alfea Gajadhar of $8,951,000 – property of the Princess Casino.
The three men pleaded not guilty to the charge and are currently out on bail.
Yesterday, when the matter was called in Magistrate Latchman’s courtroom, she informed the defendants to return to court on September 24, when the Prosecution is expected to call its final witness.
Last Monday when the matter was called, Wayne Griffith told Magistrate Latchman, “I don’t trust this court and I don’t want you to continue dealing with the matter.”
The Magistrate after listening to Griffith’s contention recused herself from hearing the trial. She then transferred the matter to Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan with the hope of having it reassigned to another Magistrate.
However, the Chief Magistrate ruled that there were not sufficient grounds for Magistrate Latchman to recuse herself from the case. The Chief Magistrate pointed out that for Griffith to make such statements, he would need sufficient grounds as to why the matter should be moved to another court.
The matter was then returned to Magistrate Latchman.
A total of 56 witnesses have already been called by Prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves.
According to police, four men arrived at the Ramada Hotel in a white motorcar bearing a fake number plate. They were armed with guns and entered the Princess Casino, discharging several rounds in the process.
They relieved a security guard of his shotgun and ordered patrons and staffers to lie on the ground. It was reported that the gunmen held a cashier at gunpoint and made off with local and foreign currency.
Three of the bandits reportedly escaped on foot, while police were able to apprehend one of them who were reportedly trapped in the casino. One of the men was reportedly arrested in a house a few days after the robbery with a large quantity of wet money and other valuables.
Another defendant, who was a former security guard at the Casino, allegedly provided the gunmen with vital information about the gambling spot’s operations. During the ordeal, Police Lance Corporal Andrew Richardson and four hotel staffers sustained gunshot wounds.
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