‘Biscuit’ toxicology samples in T&T lab

Leander, a murder accused, died at the Georgetown Hospital on July 24 last, one week after he was rushed to the institution. Prior to his death, he showed signs of recovery but days later lapsed into a coma.

His relatives had told this newspaper that Leander was poisoned and that a “strange” woman who started taking food to Leander about one month before he took ill was their prime suspect. A post-mortem examination failed to determine his cause of death.

Crime Chief Seelall Persaud told Stabroek News last week that the samples had been sent to the neighbouring island some time after Leander died, but could not give an estimated date. He said that local investigators were in contact with their counterparts in Trinidad in relation to this matter and others.

Persaud indicated to this newspaper that until “we get those results the investigation cannot progress further.”

Meanwhile, one of Leander’s relatives said recently that the first anniversary of his death was fast approaching and she was certain that the results would still not be in the hands of the police.

“Dem nah care how he dead,” the infuriated woman who did not want her name published said.

The relative was adamant that a woman who started taking food to the Georgetown Prison poisoned Leander and expressed an urgent need for her to be questioned by the police.

She recalled that about one month before his hospitalisation, someone informed her that the woman was taking food and drink for Leander. She said she later confronted the woman outside the prison and “slapped her up.” The woman added that at one time she asked the prison warder for her bowl and the man returned with another. She said when she indicated that she had not taken food for Leander in that bowl, he just smiled at her.

The woman said that the warders were aware of what was happening and questioned how the woman was able to get “a self-support card” to take things for her relative. She said she was the only person who was in possession of one for Leander and if for some reason she was unable to go to the prison, another relative would go with it, but had to produce their identification card.

She said that she learnt that the woman, who was apparently visiting someone else in prison when she met Leander, would not only take food but things like coconut water and juice.

When this newspaper spoke to the relative shortly after the death, she said that before Leander died the family had been concentrating on getting the charges dropped and getting him out of the country so he could start a new life.

The relative said that it was strange that he could have died of a mysterious illness, just as the case was coming to an end in his favour. Days before he took ill, Magistrate Yohhahnseh Cave ruled an oral statement purportedly made by the murder accused inadmissible after a voir dire (trial within a trial) had been conducted.

Leander’s lawyer James Bond had contended that whatever was extracted from his client was not free and voluntary as he had been severely beaten from the time he had been held.

The Buxton resident became known when the police issued a wanted bulletin for him and several other high-profile wanted men for the murder of Agriculture Minister Satyadeow Sawh, his siblings and a security guard.

Police offered a $2 million reward for the capture of Leander, Jermaine ‘Skinny’ Charles, Rondell ‘Fineman’ Rawlins, Orlando Andrews called ‘Bullet’ or ‘Jeffrey’ of Buxton, ‘Cash’ of Buxton; ‘Not Nice’ of Buxton and ‘Sonny’ of Agricola.  Leander was eventually captured during a joint services operation in Buxton that resulted in the deaths of Noel ‘Baby’ James who had shortly before been released from prison after serving a sentence for larceny, and Andrews who was wanted in connection with a number of murders.

Following his capture, he appeared in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on November 8, 2007 charged with the murders of Sawh, his brother Rajpat Sawh, his sister Phulmattie Persaud and his security guard Curtis Robertson on April 22, 2006 at La Bonne Intention.

Charles, who was killed along with notorious criminal Rawlins in a shoot-out with the joint services in August 2008 shortly after he escaped from the Sparendaam lock-ups, was also before the court for these murders.

Following the deaths of the two men charged in connection with the crime, the case before the courts has now been closed.

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