Justice James Bovell Drakes on Friday directed the jury in the Essequibo Assizes at Suddie, to return a not-guilty finding in the case of an Enachu miner, who had been accused of attempting to murder a man in June 2005.
It was alleged that on June 12, 2005, Orin Jorin wounded Michael Edwards in an attempt to murder him. The state presented the case against Jorin last Wednesday at Suddie.
Defence Counsel, Vic Puran, told this newspaper on Friday that he had objected to the prosecution’s case. Puran said he contended that, at the time, Jorin was also facing an indictment of murder. In the case of the murder, it was alleged that on the same day, Jorin murdered Anavaldo Torreia Da Silva, a Brazilian.
After several exchanges between the both parties, Puran said, Justice Bovell Drakes had ordered that the prosecution present the indictment of murder against Jorin before continuing with the attempted murder case.
According to Puran, the murder charge against Jorin was discharged after the prosecution entered a nolle prosequi (Latin for do not pursue. By entering a nolle prosequi the prosecution is indicating that it wishes to discontinue the action as to certain defendants, certain issues, or altogether).
With the murder charge against Jorin dropped, Puran explained, they were now able to proceed with the attempted murder case. Six persons, including Edwards, testified during the trial.
According to Puran, Edwards told the court that he was shot by Jorin and when he turned around he saw the man with a gun in his hand.
However, after reviewing the applicable law and the evidence presented to the court, Justice Bovell Drakes directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty since he deemed the evidence gathered “unreliable”.
Records of the proceedings provided by Puran quoted the judge as saying, “I have carefully read the laws on the issue and reviewed the evidence adduced. I am of the view that the evidence is tenuous and as a result of cross-examination, Edwards’ testimony became so unsatisfactory and unsound that I am satisfied that it is unreliable.
And as such the reasonable men and reasonable women of the jury cannot reasonably arrive at a verdict. Edwards was inconsistent, contradictory, and his testimony was without reason and commonsense. I will uphold the application by the defence that the evidence is not such that I can leave the issue to the jury. I am constrained to direct the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.”