Maryanna Lionel, one of the two women charged with offering a detective $4 million in cash to release the men accused in the murder of Number 70 Village carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt, admitted to the crime, a police witness testified yesterday.
Sergeant Hamlet Da Silva, who took the alleged caution statement of Lionel, testified that she admitted that she gave Detective Sergeant Kamal Pitamal the money to release the then suspects.
Lionel and Sharmila Inderjali are jointly charged with offering $4 million to Pitamal on November 19th, 2016, at Eve Leary, to forego charges against the suspects in custody for the murder as well as fugitive Marcus Bisram, who has been charged in his absence with the murder.
The second day of the trial of Lionel and Inderjali, which is being conducted by Magistrate Leron Daly in Georgetown, saw evidence being led by Da Silva, who said that he was made aware of an attempt to pervert the course of justice on Saturday, November 19th, 2016.
He said it was while he was on duty at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where he is stationed and attached to the Major Crimes Unit, that he received information causing him to contact Lionel, who was seated on the prisoner’s bench at CID.
Subsequent to identifying himself as an officer to the woman, he said he told her of the allegation made against her and cautioned her according to the Judges’ Rules. He added that after she was cautioned, Lionel said, “Officer I did give the police the money fi loose them boy.” He further said that subsequent to her admission, he asked her if she wished to make a written statement and she responded in the affirmative.
A statement was later taken and subsequently signed by Lionel, he added.
Police Prosecutor Kevin London sought to have Lionel’s statement presented to Da Silva for identification purposes, but one of the three defence lawyers on hand objected. The lawyer argued that the caution statement ought not to be entered into evidence as the prosecution had not proved that the signature on the document was Lionel’s. The lawyer presented the magistrate with a copy of Lionel’s passport and identification card to support his claim that the signatures were not the same.
Prosecutor London maintained that he was only seeking to have the statement shown to Da Silva for identification purposes. However, in light of the objection, he requested that the Sergeant’s testimony be suspended to January 17th, which was granted. Although Sergeant Pitamal was expected to resume his testimony yesterday, it was also further suspended.
A new bail request made by the defence attorneys, Chandra Sohan, Sanjeev Datadin and Stanley Moore, was denied by Magistrate Daly.
Bisram, Radesh Motie, Harri Paul Parsram, Orlando Dickie, Deodat Datt, and Niran Yacoob are jointly charged with the murder of Narinedatt. Bisram, police have alleged, procured and commanded the men to murder Narinedatt between October 31 and November 1, 2016, at Number 70 Village, Berbice.
Testifying at the commencement of the trial on Thursday, Pitamal had said he was approached by the two women, who told him that they were asked by Motie, Parsram and Bisram to hand over the $4 million to the police dealing with the investigation for them to release the suspects.
He said it was Lionel, in the presence of a Woman Sergeant, who took out two black bulky plastic parcels with the money. “This is the money, de $4 million fa ayo lose mi daddy and di res a man dem,” he recalled her saying. “An nuh fi lock up Marcus when he come in,” he recounted Inderjali adding. Inderjali is Bisram’s mother.
The court heard that Pitamal proceeded to open the parcels and observed a quantity of $5,000 and $1,000 notes. He said he then told the defendants that what they were doing was a crime and they were arrested. Sharmila Inderjali