Grass track racer Dwarka Gangadin, accused of killing his wife, was yesterday called upon to lead his defence as the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the murder charge against him was reopened.
The Director of Pubic Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack earlier this year ordered that the PI be reopened based on a request of the man’s lawyer, Glen Hanoman, who had claimed that there was insufficient evidence for the case to be heard in the High Court.
Gangadin was committed to stand trial on June 24, last year for the murder of his wife, Bridgette Gangadin.
Upon a request by Hanoman, the DPP wrote Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, who had presided over the PI and directed that the case be reopened for the purpose of allowing Trinidadian pathologist Dr. Hubert Daisley to further testify and to “tender his work permit; tender his registration as a medical practitioner in Guyana; tender as exhibits the photographs of the deceased; and more particularly to allow him to be cross examined.”
The DPP also directed the magistrate to allow “Mr. Ramdass” to testify and to comply with Sections 65 and 66 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act Chapter 10:01 with a view to committing the accused for the offence for which he was charged.
Hanoman told Stabroek News earlier this week that after the committal, Gangadin’s family approached him and voiced their concerns over the way the case had turned out. He said that after reviewing the case, he wrote a letter to the DPP asking for the case to be reopened.
Among the grounds he presented was that during the first PI, Dr. Daisley never showed up.
When the case was called yesterday, Magistrate Isaac-Marcus said that having regard to the evidence presented by the prosecution and the submissions that Hanoman had made at the last court hearing, “I found that there is sufficient evidence for the accused to lead a defence.”
Later, Gangadin, made an unsworn statement to the court, in which he professed his innocence. The magistrate asked him if he will be calling witnesses and he answered in the affirmative.
Hanoman at this point interjected, stating that three witnesses will be presented to the court. When asked if any were present at the hearing, he explained that they were not since “we were not anticipating this move.” He later asked for a next date for the case to continue and later said that he may have to subpoena one of the witnesses.
The magistrate expressed her dissatisfaction with the request, stating that every time she adjourns the case, she is imposing on another magistrate’s time. The case will continue on July 6.
Gangadin was in May, 2010 charged with the murder of his wife. On May 2, 2010, Bridgette’s mangled remains were discovered on the Vigilance Public Road, a short distance from the entrance of the police station. Her body had suspected marks of violence and police initially said they were treating the woman’s death as a murder.
Relatives had reported that Bridgette the age 29, and her husband then age 34, had left their Lusignan home the night before and travelled to Enterprise where they were expected to go shrimp-catching with some friends. However, the trip was aborted and the couple left and it was believed that they were heading home. About an hour later the husband returned to the Enterprise home without his wife and when questioned about her he did not answer. The police were contacted and he was arrested.
Dwarka Gangadin had reportedly told investigators that his wife jumped out of the truck and he accidentally ran over her head. Government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh subsequently concluded that it was crushing injuries to the head caused by a wheel and a fractured skull that had caused her death.
However Bridgette’s relatives were not satisfied with the results and hired Dr. Daisley to do a second autopsy. The report that he submitted to police said among other things that the woman had been strangled.