Another murder accused has been freed. On September 19, Justice Sandil Kissoon ruled that the oral confession by 30 year old Wayne Gilbert was inadmissible since it was unsigned by the accused and police had no other evidence against him. Now Gilbert was the third person charged for the murder of Rawl Rodrigues in a scenario where the three men had followed Rodrigues, to the bus park from the Demico Roof Garden after they had an altercation. He was charged jointly with Afibia Yankana, 27, and Akeem Haymer. One of the men had reportedly stabbed Rodrigues to his chest with a knife while the others were involved in the confrontation.
Last year, Yankana and Haymer were arraigned before Justice Kissoon for murder – the duo had denied the capital offence but opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. Justice Kissoon had sentenced both men to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving 15 years.
Two months ago the Neesa Gopaul murder appeal saw co-accused Jarvis Small walking free after the CCJ ruled that the evidence used in the trial was biased because such evidence given at the trial of mother could not be used against the other accused.
The recent dismissal of the case against Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Sharon Hicks is another example in the litany of bungling cases by both police and the DPP. Hicks was arrested by the police after allegedly demanding bribes from a businessman who paid her with marked bills that were retrieved by the police during a sting operation is a total calamity. The businessman who contacted the police refused to testify hence the dismissal in a procedure that the police could have testified with the marked bills tendered as evidence.
Another case in the long line of prosecution acrobatics is the manslaughter plea of Kurt Erskine, the killer who left his place of residence on July 05, 2015, armed himself with a gun and travelled miles and shot Ganesh Ramlall (Boyo) to death at La Jalousie, West Coast Demerara. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and received 15 years in a most bizarre decision and sentence handed down Justice Simone Morris Ramlall in 2021.The Citi-Mall owner was shot eight times!
The Marcus Bisram murder charge was dismissed by magistrate Renita Singh who ruled that there was no prima facie case. Then comes the DPP with her ‘objection’ with directive to re-charge Bisram. The CCJ dismissed her quest for a trial citing the separation of powers (Judicial vs Legislative), meaning she had no grounds to direct a judicial decision.
In the final analysis the preparation by the DPP is sloppy while research is superficial with scant analysis of the salient factors around which these cases are structured. No wonder so many accused are set free by the courts.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine