Only hearsay implicated father-son duo in Success murder, cop admits

An investigator yesterday admitted under cross-examination that hearsay statements were the only evidence he had which points to the guilt of father and son duo Arif and Latiff Mohammed in the murder of Jairam Balgobin.

When the trial continued before Justice Navindra Singh in the High Court, prosecutor Konyo Thompson, who is leading the state’s case in association with Dhanika Singh, presented five witnesses, including three policemen. Colin Ross, Mulchand Parbho and Paul Wintz were the witnesses from the police while the other two witnesses included Devika Parbho, the sister-in-law of Arif Mohammed, and Kauwsilla Singh.

From left, Arif and Latiff Mohamed
From left, Arif and Latiff Mohamed

All five witnesses were cross-examined by defence counsel Peter Hugh and associates.

The defendants are accused of murdering Balgobin on the 4th of March, 2008, at Success, East Coast Demerara.

Wintz recounted his role in the investigation to the court but under cross-examination by Hugh he admitted that the only evidence that linked the accused to the crime is what other people had said that the accused told them, and which was subsequently denied by the accused.

In recounting what she knows about the crime, Singh stated that on the day of the murder, she was in her house cooking when she heard noise coming from outside. She said she then went to her veranda to investigate and it was then she saw Arif with his hand cut.
Singh related that he told her that his hand got cut after he hit a wall and she then advised him to tie the wound.

The woman said that when she told Arif to do so, he told her that he did not want to tie his hand. Instead, he said he wanted to bleed to death. Singh also told the court that he told her that he had a cutlass and a file to (expletive) someone.
Singh also said that when she spoke to Arif, he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

This was corroborated by Parbho, who said in her testimony to the court that Arif was indeed drinking at her house on the day in question but left after midday. She said that she did not know where he went but when he came back in the afternoon he had a cut on his hand and told her he was at his mother.

Parbho also said that she was taken to the police station to give a statement and she saw Arif, whose face was swollen and he was struggling to walk. However, Singh also said she saw Arif when she went to the station the next day to give her statement and he was walking.  When asked by Thompson if she noticed anything about his face, she replied that he appeared as if he was sleeping and just woke up.
The trial will continue today.

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