The two men who were on trial for the murder of Haribol devotee Citanya Kishundyal have been freed.
Sadif Persaud, called “Guitar”, 21, of Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice, and Daniel Mc Clennon, called “Dutty”, 22, of 163 Second Street, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Berbice were freed following not guilty verdicts by the jury.
They were on trial before Justice Jo Ann Barlow and a mixed jury in the Berbice High Court. The two men were accused of killing Kishundyal, called “Haribol”, 22, of Lot 28 First Street, Swamp Section, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Berbice. The man was shot and wounded around 22:00 hrs on February 3, 2016, by armed intruders, as he was about to enter his home.
After being shot, Kishundyal was picked up and rushed to the Port Mourant Hospital, before being transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital and then the Georgetown Public Hospital where he succumbed on February 5, 2016, while receiving emergency treatment.
The Prosecution’s case was presented by attorney at law, Mandel Moore. The two men were represented by Attorney-at-law, Sasha Roberts, of the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic.
Justice Barlow took the morning session to sum up the evidence to the jury. She directed them on aspects of the law and some of the strong points that they should look for in their summation.
The jury after their deliberating returned with unanimous verdicts of not guilty of murder for both accused, when asked by the court registrar.
Justice Barlow before sending them on their way told them that they are young and have their entire lives before them. She admonished them to stay away from trouble and make the best use of their lives. “Don’t get into trouble, whenever you see trouble keep as far away as possible. Do not find yourselves in the docks again”.
The men before exiting the court thanked their lawyer, the jury and the judge before running and hugging their families. They expressed elation at being freed and stated that they were confident all along that they would have been exonerated.
The prosecution called a number of witnesses including the deceased man’s mother Serojnie Kishundyal , his father Linahar Kishundyal , a relative Mahendra Ramkissoon, and a villager Joel Khan, who testified to being present when certain things were said.
Police witnesses included Detective Sergeant Kester Moriah, Sergeant Philbert Wilburg, Corporal Reynolds, Detective Corporal Emanuel Davidson, Detective Constable Chetram and Constables Clive Gopaul and Howard Barlow.
Davidson testified to being present when Persaud gave a statement, which was taken by Detective Sergeant Lawrence Thomas. He said the man had stated that he was in company with Mc Clennon, ‘Oracle’, ‘Ringo’ and two others, when Kishundyal was shot by Mc Clennon. He acted as the lookout.
Government Pathologist Dr. Neal Singh had testified to performing a post mortem examination on the body of Kishundyal and gave the cause of death as shock and haemorrhage due to gunshot injury. He said six pellets were removed from the decease body.
Defence Attorney Sasha Roberts had called Detective Inspector and Crime Scene Investigator Curtis Cort and female Prison Officer Virgin Richmond to the witness stand.
Persaud had told the court from the dock that he “doesn’t know about the story”. Mc Clennon gave evidence from the witness stand and denied knowing anything about the matter. He maintained that he was at home with his brother at the time of the shooting.
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