Witness says Cane Grove murder accused threatened to kill him after attack on victim

State witness Rajesh Liloutie yesterday testified that he saw murder accused Hamid Latiff, called ‘Crapo’ swiftly motioning his hand into 16-year-old Mulchand Murilall’s body, after which he shoved the teen into a trench.

Latiff is on trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a 12-member jury for the allegedly murdering Murilall on November 12, 2013, at Cane Grove, East Bank Demerara.

Asked by Prosecutor Siand Dhurjon whether he saw the accused with anything in his hand at the time he motioned toward Murilall, Liloutie said no.

Hamid Latiff
Hamid Latiff

The court heard from the witness that as he and Bhagmattie Murilall, called ‘Vashtie,’ the sister of the deceased, approached to see what had happened to the teenager, the accused advanced towards them with a 12-inch-long knife with which he threatened to kill them both.

In his testimony, Liloutie said that after the accused had eventually left the scene, Murilall’s bloodied body, bearing a wound to the chest area, was subsequently retrieved from the trench.

Responding to questions under cross-examination from defence attorney, Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, Liloutie emphasised that apart from the accused, no other person had ever said that it was he (Liloutie) who had stabbed Murilall.

The witness, who said that he hunts wild animals for a living, was questioned repeatedly by De Santos about being in possession of a weapon at the time of the stabbing.

After consistently answering counsel in the negative, a visibly incensed Liloutie held up the Bible, with which he had taken his oath to speak the truth, and declared, “This is the only weapon I have.”

After Liloutie’s testimony, the state closed its case. De Santos then made a no-case submission, which was overruled by Justice Barlow.

 Mulchand Murilall
Mulchand Murilall

Latiff led his defence in unsworn testimony in which he stated that it was Liloutie who pushed Murilall overboard and later advanced towards him with a knife.

The case continues this afternoon at 1 when Latiff is expected to call one witness to the stand. The judge ordered both sides to be prepared to present closing addresses to the jury after.

The state’s case is being presented by Dhurjon in association with Prosecutor Shawnette Austin.

Safraz Hussain, a friend of the deceased, had previously identified Latiff during his testimony as the person who fatally stabbed his friend during an argument.

Hussain had told the court that he was sitting with another friend and Murilall when a confrontation between the dead man and the accused ensued.

He had further stated that it was during the argument that Latiff stabbed Murilall in the chest with a 12 inches long ‘Rambo’ knife, before pushing him in the trench and fleeing the scene.

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