Attorney-at-Law Brandon De Santos is arguing that the charge leveled against his client Trinidadian, Sawak Maraj, who was jailed for four years for faking his own kidnapping, is bad in law. This was among the grounds proffered by the lawyer, who has now moved to the Court of Appeal, where he is asking for the conviction against his client to be quashed.
It was Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore who sentenced Maraj to imprisonment after she found him guilty at the conclusion of a trial in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Police had prior to that alleged that on October 27, 2018 at Georgetown, Maraj conspired with other persons to negotiate a ransom of US$700,000 for the release of someone in unlawful custody.
Police had further alleged that on the same day, Maraj provided police with false information that he was kidnapped and that his abductors were demanding US$700,000 for his release. He had been released on $1M pending the hearing and determination of a trial.
In a Notice of Appeal, De Santos is contending that the convictions cannot stand having considered the inadmissible evidence accepted by the court. Among other things, the lawyer is arguing that the first charge against his client is bad in law.
The lawyer pointed out that it was impossible for his client to kidnap himself when he was not taken to the location under any form of force or threat. In this regard, De Santos said that his client was not being held against his will, and as such the charge is bad in law. The lawyer is presently in the process of filing a petition for bail pending appeal at the High Court for his client.
According to reports, Maraj arrived in Guyana on October 28, 2018 via the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri. He reportedly left the airport in a taxi and was heading to a hotel on East Bank Demerara when he disappeared. It was a Guyanese who went to the hotel and made reservations for Maraj. Shortly after the engineer left the airport, a photograph of him with someone holding a cutlass to his neck, was sent to his parents and other relatives in Trinidad and Tobago.
It was alleged that the ‘kidnappers’ threatened to kill their victim if the demanded ransom was not paid. The engineer’s family immediately made contact with the Guyana Police Force and forwarded the photograph. This newspaper was informed that local ranks were able to track the number that the ‘kidnappers’ used to make contact with Maraj’s relatives. They were also able to trace the location where the call was made.
Ranks were immediately mobilized from around Georgetown and sent to the location in a bid to rescue the ‘victim.’ On arrival at the hotel, they took up strategic positions. They were puzzled when they entered the room where the ‘victim’ was being held and found him relaxing on a sofa where he was drinking a can of juice.
When he was called on to lead a defence during his trial, Maraj opted to give an unsworn testimony. He had told the court, “I am not guilty of these charges. Your worship, at no point did I agree with anyone to fake my kidnapping. All this time, I still believed that Abraham (a driver) was a bona fide employee of Exxon, who was at the airport to facilitate as a recipient on Exxon’s behalf.”
According to Maraj, he was driven to several locations and that’s when he realized that something was wrong. He told the court that he was taken to a hotel and a cutlass was placed to his throat, and he was threatened. “I became very afraid; I knew no one and I was very confused. I was visibly relieved when the police came shortly after my captors had fled,” Maraj had told the court.
Jul 05, 2020Executives and members of the Georgetown Softball Cricket League Incorporated (GSCL) express their grief at the sudden passing of a true cricket all-rounder Anil Persaud. At the time of his sudden...
The hot question at this moment is what type of attacks we will see on the Secretary-General (SG) of CARICOM, Mr. Irwin La... more
The government should not be selling any lands. It has long gone beyond being a caretaker administration and is merely in... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders There have been unhelpful and destructive attacks by leading members and zealous supporters of the... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]