Jun 22, 2021 News
– says Appeal Court erred in decision to send him back for trial
Kaieteur News – In his Notice of Appeal (NoA) to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), accused murderer, Marcus Bisram, is arguing that the Appeal Court erred in its decision to send him back to the Magistrate’s court to be committed to stand a full trial.
Bisram’s lawyers are asking the CCJ to set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeal.
The request was made three weeks after the Guyana Appellate Court ruled that the Guyanese-American who is known for his philanthropic efforts will have to undergo a trial for the 2016 murder of Berbice carpenter, Faiyaz Narinedatt.
The CCJ has since suspended the Appeal Court’s ruling until it hears and determines the case.
In the interim, the Regional Court has ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, not to take steps to arrest Bisram. The CCJ, nonetheless, ordered Bisram to lodge his passport with the Registrar of the High Court and report to the Divisional Police Commander in Berbice every Monday until the case concludes.
According to the document seen by this newspaper, the NOA was filed on behalf of Bisram by his legal team consisting of attorneys Dharshan Ramdhanie, QC, Arudranauth Gossai, Sanjeev Datadin and Dexter Todd.
Among other things, Bisram’s lawyers argued that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it found that “the procedure set out in Section 72 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act Cap. 10.01 was not followed by the DPP but still held that discretion she exercised was valid and lawful.”
The lawyers contended that the Court of Appeal erred when it concluded that there was sufficient evidence against Bisram based on the credibility of “a single witness” stating that it was still a matter for the jury, when the evidence of that witness was the only evidence against the accused and that witness even recanted his testimony and admitted that his evidence was not true.
The lawyers noted too that the Appeal Court erred in failing to recognise that as a court in judicial review proceedings, it was duty bound to assess and determine whether the Magistrate’s decision, and equally the decision of the High Court Judge, were respectively reasonable and rational when the two judicial officers ruled that the evidence against Bisram was insufficient to commit him to stand trial.
In their estimation, the lawyers noted that, “the Court of Appeal committed an equal error when it failed to recognise that as a court in judicial review proceedings, it was duty bound to assess and determine whether the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision, was reasonable and rational.”
Particularly, the NOA filed by the lawyers specifies, “the Court of Appeal erred when it held that in directing a Magistrate to commit an accused person under Section 72(2) of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act Cap. 10.01 was not an act in breach of the Constitutional separation of powers doctrine and specifically Article 122 A of the Constitution.
Further, the lawyers claimed that the Appeal Court erred when it failed to find that the DPP’s action was an act constituting an improper interference with the independence of the judiciary.
In the circumstances, the lawyers are seeking orders to reverse and/or set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal made on May 31, 2021 and an order that Section 72 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act Cap. 10:01 is unconstitutional in view of Article 122 A (1) of the constitution of the Republic of Guyana.
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