The voir dire (trial within a trial) into an alleged oral statement made by David Leander called `Biscuit’ who is accused of the murder of Satyadeow Sawh, two siblings and a security guard, continued yesterday with testimony from a police detective.
Detective deputy superintendent of police, Alwyn Wilson took to the witness stand yesterday when the matter was called by Magistrate Yohhannseh Cave at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court
He was the second and final witness for the prosecution in this part of the matter. He and another policeman, who testified, were in the interview room at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Headquarters in November, 2007 when the statement was allegedly made.
When Leander was brought to the court room he was shackled at the feet and was wearing handcuffs. When he went into the dock, only the handcuffs were removed. He remained shackled for hours until he left the court room. There were several policemen standing around and armed ranks were in the courtyard.
Wilson who is stationed at the Cove and John Police Station in his brief evidence in chief led by Special Prosecutor Sanjeev Datadin testified about what went on in the interview room that day.
He was then cross-examined by defence counsel James Bond for almost two hours. During this time, Wilson was asked to leave the court on two occasions for the magistrate to clarify Bond’s line of questioning.
The policeman was subsequently re-examined by Datadin and after the magistrate had read over his testimony, Bond made an application to the court for the witness to be recalled to give further testimony about a specific word that was used during his cross-examination.
At the end of the matter, the attorney said that his client has complained that he had been spitting blood and though the medex in Camp Street has been informed of this nothing has been done.
Bond pointed out that the Magistrate had even written on the case jacket when the matter started that he (Leander) should be taken to the hospital but this was never done.
The Magistrate however said that once he leaves the court, Leander is the responsibility of the Guyana Police Force and when taken to the Camp Street prison, he is in the hands of the prison authorities.
The magistrate then said that the order was made on the case jacket because allegations where made when the matter was before him but at the same time he cannot order the prison authority to have him seek medical attention.
He told Bond that if the order is ignored, he had to take it up with someone else.
When the matter is recalled next Thursday, Wilson will return to the stand. The void dire is being held to determine whether the statement would be entered into evidence.
So far, six witnesses including relatives of the slain Minister have testified in the PI and there are still several witnesses to be called.
Leander also known as David Zammett of Vigilance, East Coast Demerara was charged on November 8, 2007 with the murder of Sawh, Rajpat Sawh, Phulmattie Persaud and Curtis Robinson on April 22 at La Bonne Intention (LBI), ECD.
Jermaine “Skinny” Charles who was killed along with Rondell `Fineman’’ Rawlins in a shoot-out with the joint services last August was also before the court for these murders when he escaped from the lock-ups at Sparendaam Police Station.
Police had issued wanted bulletins and offered a $2M reward for the capture of Leander, Charles, Rawlins , Orlando Andrews called ‘Bullet’ or ‘Jeffrey’ of Buxton, ‘Cash’ of Buxton; ‘Not Nice’ of Buxton and ‘Sonny’ of Agricola.
Leander was captured during a joint services operation in Buxton that resulted in the deaths of Noel ‘Baby’ James who had recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for larceny and Andrews who was wanted for a number of murders.
When Leander appeared in court, he had visible injuries about his body and could hardly walk. His lawyer said that he was tortured by police while in custody. He was later admitted to the Georgetown Hospital following an order by Justice Jainarayan Singh Jr.