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Feb 01, 2023 Court Stories, Features / Columnists, News
…2018 High Seas piracy attack
Kaieteur News – The two men who were jointly charged with murder committed on fishermen, Tilaknauth Mohabir called ‘Kaiman’ and Mahesh Sarjoo during the 2018 High Seas piracy attack in Suriname waters were yesterday sentenced to death imprisonment by Justice Navindra Singh.
Justice Singh said that the act committed by Nakool Manohar called ‘Fyah’ of No.43 Village, Corentyne, Berbice and Premnauth Persaud called ‘Sanbad’ was cruel, heinous, and cold-blooded. Both were found guilty on both counts of murder in November 2022.
Prior to the sentencing, Persaud denied being involved in the deadly attack that also cost the lives of several other fishermen. Manohar on the other hand chose to be silent but Justice Singh took note that the men were not remorseful and that there were no mitigating circumstances found in the evidence put before the court.
“We look at a man who is sitting in court right now who was a victim of the attack, he is still shaking, seems like he can hardly walk, hardly focus properly, this was a cruel, a gruesome, a heinous, cold-blooded attack.” Justice Singh said.
Referencing Section 7 of the High jacking and Piracy Act which allows for punishment by death once convicted, Justice Singh noted that considering the evidence, “…I find no reason to not impose that sentence.” He further said that the men cannot be rehabilitated and that it would be “reckless and irresponsible of the court to allow them to be released into society at any time.”
State Prosecutor, Attorney-at-Law, Latchmie Rahamat, prior to sentencing said that there was no remorse expressed by the accused men. Noting that one of the aggravating factors that should be considered, is during one of the testimonies it was stated that they were told not to wear mask, “because the intention was to kill the fishermen, there was supposed to be no survivors.”
Testimonies given in court had detailed that Nakool Manohar ordered Premnauth Persaud and others to ransom the fishing boats and that Manohar threatened revenge for his brother’s death. His brother was murdered in Suriname. The revenge ultimately led to the death of the fishermen.
Darandeo Persaud also known as ‘Archie bai’, one of the survivors of the attack had told the court that they were on fishing vessel ‘Joshua 1418’ when they were attacked. He said that Persaud was apart of the crew that attacked them and that he was chopped, tied to an anchor, and thrown into the water.
“When them come in this boat them start fa lick this boat up with cutlass and them say everybody come out, everybody need fa die now… I get several a de chop… The first chop wah them chop, them put me inside the fish pen to sit down and after that them tek me out and tie pon the anchor and throw me overboard.” He recalled during his testimony.
One of the boat captains, Deonarine Goberdhan also testified that Tilaknauth Mohabir was a part of his crew and it was him that saw the attackers’ vessels approaching them. He stated that during the attack, Persaud who he knew, was laughing.
“Sanbad sit down pon the ice box and ah laugh and I say ‘bai wah really going on budday?’ and he say ‘shut you (cursed) mouth’… Sanbad say he come to collect the boat.”
He jumped overboard and said he survived by keeping underwater until the attackers left. The following day he was rescued by a boat passing.
Navin Balkissoon, had testified that he was acquainted with Monohar’s brother and knew him as ‘Paddy’ in Suriname. He said he attended the funeral service of ‘Paddy’ and that he was standing with Manohar at the pyre, when ‘Fyah’ uttered that the pyre for those that killed his brother will have to be lit.
Balkissoon had said that ‘Sanbad’ was also at the funeral and said that he called his Sister and told her what ‘Fyah’ had said at the funeral to him, but that he did not want to be part of what ‘Fyah’ had planned. Sometime after, he saw ‘Fyah’ and ‘Sanbad’ on the wharf where the crew was picked out to execute the attack and instructions were given to them. He was approached by ‘Fyah’ on the wharf and told that if he was not a part of the crew, he will be killed but according to Balkissoon he got away and returned to Guyana.
The accused men were represented by Attorney-at-Law, Mursaline Bhaccus , while the State was represented by Attorneys-at-Law, Nafeeza Baig and Latchmie Rahamat.
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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