– Magistrate Alex Moore
By Malisa Harry
Intense with back and forth arguments between the Magistrate, prosecution and the defence in the highly-publicized Marcus Bisram case at the Whim Magistrate’s Court, a decision was made yesterday by the sitting Magistrate, Alex Moore, to proceed with the matter via paper committal rather than a preliminary inquiry as is usually done in matters that are indictable
State Prosecutrix from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s office, Attorney-at-law Stacy Goodings who made an application for a Preliminary Inquiry, was asked to give a reason for such, and she explained that in the interest of the prosecution’s case, it provides the opportunity to present the evidence in their possession, inclusive of video evidence, photographs and possible visiting of the locations or scenes in the matter. She also stated that it gives the court the opportunity to see witnesses and allows for cross examination by the defence so that there is no prejudice.
Magistrate Moore, however, made lengthy references to matters he handled in the past , that he would have used paper committals, instead of carrying out a PI. He reasoned that it (PI) was unnecessary and taxing of time. He argued towards Goodings that she has nothing to support an application to proceed by Preliminary Inquiry, and again reasoned that paper committals were introduced for the saving of time.
Defence Attorney Sanjeev Datadin, shortly after the Magistrate concluded speaking, referred to the prosecution’s explanation as “trash” to which there were giggles in the court. Moore and Datadin further on in the proceedings apologized to Goodings for the utterance.
The hour-and-a-half long proceeding yesterday also saw issues developing with statements in the matter, with Attorney Datadin indicating that they are eager to proceed with the matter expeditiously in the interest of their client Bisram, a guest of the state.
While Datadin stated that he does not require the statements since he already had them in his possession from the matter where he represented the other five accused who were charged with the murder of Faiyaz Narinedatt, he requested that the Magistrate check to see what statements the court had and what other statements the court required to proceed.
An inquiry from the clerk indicated that the file with the statements was not “put together”. The court however would have had such statements compiled as a file since the previous matter with the five other accused who were committed to stand trial in the High Court. It is, however, unclear how the statements were requested from the clerk by the magistrate.
Moore went as far as to suggest that maybe the defence could supply the statements. However Datadin said to Moore that Goodings might proceed to write a letter to someone with contents of her concerns, as she would have done in the past where she felt the prosecution was being treated unfairly.
The Magistrate then suggested that Datadin may not have any qualms with providing finances to photocopy the statements. The request was made by the defence and the magistrate to have Goodings supply photocopied statements compiled and handed to the court, with Datadin confidently continuing with sarcastic utterances to Goodings freely in court. He even opted to have one of his clerks assist Goodings.
The Magistrate then inquired from Goodings when a reasonable time for the prosecution would be to make their disclosure of statements to the court. She pointed out that December 28 would be suitable for her considering her engagements with other matters out of the jurisdiction.
That, however, was not acceptable for Magistrate Moore and Attorney Datadin, the latter opined that it was a delaying tactic by the prosecution to keep their client on remand. Moore agreed and noted that since bail could not be given by him, he would ensure the matter be dealt with expeditiously, and went as far as to say that it has become a norm for matters to be prolonged.
Moore during the proceedings shouted several times at Goodings as she tried to respond to his questions, and at one point yelled so loud that his voice could be heard by persons standing in the courtyard, demanding that Goodings “not interrupt me while I am speaking”.
It should be noted, however, that Datadin interrupted Moore on several occasions but did not receive the same energy. At one point he also said that if the prosecution is proceeding along the line of delaying the proceedings, then he would “happily discharge” it against the accused, who was smiling in the docks while seated.
Moore continuing with his long line of questions towards Goodings questioned the reason for the matter being called at the Whim Magistrate’s Court and not at the Springlands Court. In response, Goodings pointed him to “Section 12” which indicates that the Chancellor may “assign or remove a case from a magistrate” but went on to state that based on that, she would have to seek further guidance. At that point she indicated to Moore that there was an endorsement note on the case docket by the Chief Magistrate.
Moore, later in the proceedings insisted that disclosures, a site visit and cross examination can be done in one day, since Datadin indicated that they only have interest in cross examination of the star witness. Moore said that a ruling by him could take effect by the end of the month. He then ordered that Goodings have the statements printed and presented to the court by next Monday, December 9.
Marcus Brian Bisram was extradited to Guyana last month and is currently on remand at the Camp Street Prison after being charged at the Whim Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Renita Singh.
Bisram was charged with counselling, procuring and commanding Harri Paul Parsram, Radesh Motie, Niran Yacoob, Diodath Datt and Orlando Dickie to murder Faiyaz Narinedatt between October 31, 2016 and November 1, 2016.
Bisram is also being represented by Attorney Dexter Todd.
Meanwhile, relatives of Bisram packed the courtroom yesterday while the relatives of the deceased were not allowed in court. Narinedatt’s relatives expressed displeasure that they were made to stand downstairs while Bisram’s relatives were allowed to be in court.
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