Ex-magistrate held over alleged attempt to pervert course of justice

Number 70 carpenter murder PI

Former magistrate Chandra Sohan was yesterday taken into custody at the Springlands Magistrate’s Court for allegedly attempting to pervert the course of justice in the preliminary inquiry (PI) into the murder of Number 70 Village carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt.

Sohan, an attorney at law, was arrested yesterday midday and up to press time, there was no word of him being released on bail. According to police sources, they were awaiting word from officials in Georgetown on how to proceed.

The case, which involves US-based Guyanese Marcus Brian Bisram, who had fled the country shortly after the murder and was recently arrested in America, has grabbed the nation’s attention.

Chandra Sohan

Five other men, including Bisram’s bodyguard, were charged with the murder. Bisram, police have alleged, procured and commanded Orlando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Diodath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Niran Yacoob to murder Narinedatt between October 31 and November 1, 2016, at Number 70 Village, Berbice.

When the PI continued at the Springlands Magistrate Court yesterday, one of the witnesses who was expected to testify fell ill and could not do so.

The witness, who had been hospitalized for some time after he was allegedly poisoned, was present in court for the morning session. However, as they day went by, the 16-year-old began to feel weak and his relatives took him away.

After several small breaks the court was finally adjourned and the PI was set to continue today with several other witnesses testifying.

Faiyaz Narinedatt’s family protesting yesterday.

Meanwhile, according to a source, Sohan was apparently representing a witness and as such, had attended previous court sessions. However, a police source told Stabroek News that orders were given to keep a keen eye on Sohan’s actions during yesterday’s proceedings.

State Prosecutor Stacy Goodings, who replaced Police Prosecutor ASP Stephen Telford, told the court yesterday that Sohan had no authority in the   proceedings.

The accused’s attorney, Sanjeev Datadin, then argued that witnesses have a right to seek their own legal representation. However, after the court broke for a five-minute recess, Sohan was placed in custody and told of the charge.

Meanwhile, Narinedatt’s relatives, including his parents and son were present at the court yesterday with placards insisting that they will continue to stand strong until they receive justice. However, it was the relatives of the accused men who filled the court yesterday, as a large group was present for the proceedings.

In November 2016, Narinedatt’s lifeless body was discovered on the Number 70 Public Road. Bisram, the alleged mastermind, was arrested in Queens, New York on July 4 and remains behind bars pursuant to a complaint warrant issued by Magistrate Judge James C Francis IV on June 16. Arguments in the extradition trial are set to commence on August 7.