Jan 12, 2021 News
Murder of Bartica gold miner…
Kaieteur News – Defence Attorney, Nigel Hughes, is expected to present some fresh information to the Appeal Court to support his arguments against the death penalty which was imposed on three ex-Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks who were convicted and sentenced for the August 20, 2009 murder of Bartica gold miner, Dwieve Kant Ramdass.
Yesterday during a hearing of the case before Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards, and appellate Justices Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory, Hughes sought the leave of the Court to introduce studies from experts who have done extensive research on the death penalty.
State Counsel and Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Dionne McCammon, told the courts that she has no difficulty with the introduction of the new evidence as long as it is the documents and not the actual experts presenting their findings.
Given the State’s decision not to oppose the submission, the Court has set a fresh timeline for the ventilation of the case. Hughes was given until February 11, 2020 to have the new submissions filed and served. The State was granted until March 2, 2020, to file a response and the Court is expected to hear oral arguments for the matter by March 15, 2020.
The appeal for the three former ranks has been met with several delays. The last time the case was called at the Appeal Court was in 2019. Back then, there were setbacks owing to some missing records.
Initially, the Court of Appeal had fixed October 18, 2019 for the hearing of the appeal. At that hearing, lawyers Nigel Hughes and Latchmie Rahamat raised preliminary issues as it related to the state of the records of appeal. Hughes had brought to the court’s attention that the records of appeal do not reflect a ruling on a Voir Dire made by the trial judge in relation to two of the appellants.
Gordon’s lawyer, Rahamat, who represented him at the trial stage, had told the court that she could recall the judge making a ruling after the Voir Dire was concluded. She, however, pointed out that this ruling could not be cross-referenced with the court’s type-written records of appeal.
Apart from this, Rahamat pointed out that some of the evidence in the judge’s summing up was inaccurately reflected. For example, among other things, Rahamat said that what was said by one of the witnesses is recorded as being said by another witness. At that hearing, too, McCammon admitted that in the type-written records of appeal the judge’s summing up seems disjointed and “some of the pages do not flow.”
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