Judge hears further arguments on Marcus Bisram’s bid to strike down murder charge

Justice Gino Persaud yesterday heard further arguments on murder accused Marcus Bisram’s application to have the charge against him quashed.

He has now set October 30 as the date to hand down his judgment, by which time the lawyers are expected to put their arguments in writing.

Bisram, a United States-based Guyanese, is currently in a US jail fighting extradition to Guyana, where he has been named a co-defendant in the murder of Number 70 Village carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt.

Bisram’s attorney Sanjeev Datadin, has argued that the charge is “without legal foundation, null, void, unreasonable and unfair.”

Marcus Brian Bisram

According to Datadin, the only evidence which the state purports to have against his client is a statement from its key witness, Chaman Chunilall, alleging to have heard Bisram saying words to the effect, “kill him.”

During the preliminary inquiry (PI) into the charge against Bisram’s five co-accused, before Magistrate Charlyn Artiga at the Springland’s Magistrate’s Court, however, Chunilall, under cross-examination, purportedly recanted his story, saying he knows nothing about the incident.

As a result, Datadin argued that the recantation is sufficient to warrant the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to withdraw the charge levelled against Bisram.

Datadin has argued that the witness could not have known what the police claims he said in his statement, as he cannot read nor write, and he suggested that the man’s denial of having knowledge of the murder was omitted  from his statement.

Solicitor General Kim Kyte-John and State Counsel Stacy Goodings, who appeared for the DPP, however, have refuted Datadin’s contention that the purported recantation should be a reason to withdraw the charge against the accused.

Instead, they have argued that these are issues which the magistrate is called upon to examine and determine at the conclusion of the PI, as to whether a prima facie case has been made out to commit the defendant to stand trial before the High Court.

Bisram was arrested and placed behind bars in the US on July 4 in New York pursuant to a warrant issued on June 16 by Magistrate Judge James C Francis IV.

Police here have alleged, that he 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.

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