Sep 19, 2020 News
Four men yesterday made their first appearance at the Fort Wellington Magistrate Court to answer the charge of murder committed on Mohamed ‘Raymond’ Haniff of Experiment, Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice.
Sarjoo Matadin, a 56-year-old cash crop farmer, Ivor Lindo, 21-year-old security guard and Royston Dowden, 29 all of Bath Settlement, and Devon Mc Calmon, a 50-year-old a National Drainage & Irrigation Authority worker of Number 22 Village, West Coast Berbice all appeared before Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh, shackled and masked up.The charge read that on Saturday, 12th September at Experiment, Bath Settlement, they murdered Mohamed Haniff. They were not required to plead to the indictable charge. Before the men were remanded, Attorney-at-law Bernard Da Silva representing Sarjoo Matadin told the court that his client was held in custody beyond the legal 72-hour time frame without being informed whether an extension was sought or granted to keep him in custody.
He further recorded with the Magistrate that his client was beaten by the police while in custody at New Amsterdam Criminal Investigation Department (CID) branch and at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary. According to Da Silva, Sarjoo complained yesterday that he was experiencing pain about his body and as such asked that an application be granted for his client to undergo a medical examination. The application was granted by Magistrate Singh.Meanwhile, the prosecution lead by Inspector Sheriff, told the court that his file was not completed since the post mortem report is outstanding. However, he did state that all statements were included in the file. The men were subsequently remanded to prison and the 2nd October set for disclosure.
On the 12th September at sometime around 20:00 hrs, three men armed with cutlasses and a knife barged into the home of Mohamed Haniff and demanded that he hand over his cash and jewellery. After he did not give in to the demands of the men, they chopped him about his head and shortly after escaped. Haniff’s wife who was also at home when the men entered, was not harmed during the ordeal. Haniff was then rushed to the hospital where he succumbed a few hours later to his injuries. Shortly after, the Major Crimes Unit attached to the Guyana Police Force CID took over the case and arrested the wife of the man. A few days later Matadin, Dowden, Lindo and Mc Calmon were arrested.
While in custody, one of the accused confessed and detailed that the door of the house was left open for them since the aim was to rob Haniff and not kill him. Haniff had returned to Guyana after living in St. Martin for two years, with approximately $8000 US in cash and gold jewellery. He reportedly hid the cash from his wife who, Kaieteur News was informed by police sources, was heavily in debt.
The confessing accused in custody told police that the plan was concocted three days prior to the murder at his house and they were told that the back door of the house would be left unlocked. He said that they planned to rob the man of his money but after he refused to say where it was, the situation escalated and they dealt the man several chops to his head. They then escaped without any cash or jewellery. Nothing was reported missing from the home when investigators showed up and the stashed cash was located by ranks.
This publication understands that the wife who was arrested was released on station bail a few days ago. A post mortem examination that was done on the body of Haniff revealed that he died from multiple incision wounds to the head. Blood samples, stomach contents and body parts were taken from Haniff’s body to be tested. The results for those are expected soon.
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