Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan yesterday ruled that a statement made to police by Darrol Compton, one of the two men accused of murdering Babita Sarjou, was given voluntarily.
Compton and Sarjou’s estranged husband, Anand Narine, are charged with killing her six years ago.
A voir dire had been conducted to determine the admissibility of Compton’s statement during the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the murder charge against the men.
In her ruling yesterday, the Chief Magistrate said that at the time the statements were made, there was no evidence that suggested that Compton was tricked or induced into making his statement. She said that the court was satisfied, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Compton gave the statement to the police freely and voluntarily and in accordance with the judge’s rules.
Prior to the ruling yesterday, several officers were called upon to testify during the voir dire and the magistrate said she had considered their testimony and made her decision to let the statement be entered as evidence in the PI.
Meanwhile, the court has commenced another voir dire to determine the admissibility of alleged statements made by Narine to the police. Police Sergeant Devon Lowe, who is stationed at Eve Leary and attached to the Major Crimes Unit, took the stand to testify in the voir dire yesterday.
The matter was adjourned until November 25.
On the eve of Diwali, November 4, 2010, Sarjou had left her Timehri home, having informed her family that after work she was going to view the annual motorcade with her estranged husband and their then four-year-old son. She had promised she would be back home at around 9 that night. She was never seen or heard from again.
Sarjou’s estranged husband had faced intense scrutiny over her disappearance as there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship, which was evidenced by several reports made at the Kitty Police Station and the Timehri Police Station.
The husband was also charged with the offence of exposing pictures of Sarjou to the public with a view to corrupting public morals after photographs in which the woman appeared half-naked were displayed around her place of employment in 2010.