Jun 14, 2019 News
Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George–Wiltshire, SC, has dismissed an application by the DPP to have an upcoming manslaughter trial against two persons, Lennox Baharally and Rondell Edwards, moved from the High Court in the Essequibo to Georgetown.
The Chief Justice ordered the DPP, represented by State Prosecutor Stacy Goodings, to pay costs in the sum of $60,000, to the co-accused in the matter.
The Chief Justice in her Judgment held that the DPP failed to show sufficient grounds for the Application for transfer of the trial to Demerara. She ruled that such a transfer would be more prejudicial to the co-accused persons who reside in the County of Essequibo.
Lennox Baharally and Rondell Edwards were originally charged with the Capital offence but, at the conclusion of the Preliminary Inquiry, Magistrate Sunil Scarce, presiding at the Charity Magistrates’ Court, committed Baharally and Edwards to stand trial at the High Court for the less offence of manslaughter.
The grounds for the application made by the DPP were that one of the accused is from a wealthy and well known family in the Pomeroon area; and one of the persons selected for a jury panel was found to have a close connection with the accused.
Both Baharally and Edwards were represented by Jerome Khan Law Firm, who contended that the DPP’s claims were unsubstantiated, in that the said accused is a small boat builder amongst a family of labourers.
The lawyer said that there was no evidence of witness tampering as alleged.
Priyanka Sookraj, counsel appearing for the defendants, argued that the DPP application could lead to sensationalism in the media. Her contention was shut down by the court.
In 2016, Baharally, 34, a father of three, and Rondel Edwards, 19, both of Region Two were jointly charged with murdering Baharally’s uncle, Mohamed Abdool Shameer, on April 26 at Jacklow, Pomeroon.
Baharally , a boat maker was accused of killing his uncle and burying him in a shallow grave with the help of Edwards who was an apprentice boat maker.
It was reported that Shameer, a farmer, left his home on April 25, 2016 in a paddle boat to visit a friend. He was reportedly on his way back home in the boat when he was run over by a larger boat reportedly piloted by Baharally. The nephew and two other persons, including Edwards, were allegedly in that boat.
However, it is alleged that after the collision occurred Shameer’s body was pulled out of the water and later found buried in a shallow grave.
Back then, Attorney Jerome Khan who is representing the accused highly criticized a daily newspaper of “sensationalist-style reporting” on the unfortunate situation.
According to Khan, a boat collision had occurred and his clients had no intentions of killing the man.
He expressed shock that a murder charge was laid against Edwards and Baharally. He said that there is no evidence to charge them for the indictable offence.
Khan explained that Baharally was sailing the boat when the mishap occurred. He said that his clients rescued Shameer after the incident but instead of taking the injured man to the hospital they took him to a river bank.
“It was a boating mishap. This happens all the time,” Khan pointed out.
Back then, Police Prosecutor, Inspector Neville Jeffers said that the police file is still incomplete. He stated that the post mortem report and a statement from the investigating rank are still outstanding.
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