Bisram’s NY lawyer seeking to stay ruling on extradition

…until Guyana court decides on challenge to charge

The lawyer in New York for Guyanese murder accused, Marcus Bisram is seeking to stall a ruling on his extradition proceedings there on the basis of his challenge in the Guyana High Court against the charge.

However, the US government in a quick response submitted that the pending motion in Guyana has no effect on the US court’s probable cause determination.

In a letter to Justice Peggy Kuo, Bisram’s New York lawyer, Mario F. Gallucci said his client’s Guyanese lawyer Sanjeev Datadin informed that a ruling on the dismissal of the murder charge has been reserved until October 30th.

“I still believe that this ruling is substantially critical and essential to the probable cause element of extradition. I am asking Your Honour to refrain from issuing an opinion until such time as the Guyanese court makes a final decision,” the lawyer said in the letter, seen by this newspaper.

Marcus Brian Bisram

The case the lawyer is referring to  is the one before Justice Gino Persaud who is hearing the application to have the murder charge against Bisram quashed. Datadin argued before the court that the charge is “without legal foundation, null, void, unreasonable and unfair.”

The lawyer had submitted that the only evidence which the state purports to have against his client is a statement of 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 Springlands Magistrate’s Court, however, Chunilall, under cross-examination, purportedly recanted his story by saying that 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.

Last week, the prosecution in the US extradition matter had asked Justice Kuo  to find that the evidence before her court is sufficient to justify his committal on felony charges if the crime had occurred in the United States.

That was among the declarations the prosecution sought in the proposed order to be made by the judge.


‘No effect’

In a response, filed hours after the letter from Bisram’s lawyer was submitted to Justice Kuo seeking to stay any ruling, the prosecution pointed out that the evidence before the court consists of sworn eyewitness affidavits describing Bisram’s purported commission of the crime.

US Assistant Attorney Nicholas J. Moscow argued that the present case in the Guyana High Court has no effect on the judge determining the extradition matter.

“This court is not charged with determining whether the evidence properly submitted by the Government of Guyana has been rebutted in Guyana- and the fugitive has offered no admissible ‘explanatory’ evidence to this Court that might vitiate the probable cause to believe that he committed the murder with which he is charged,” the Assistant Attorney said in his submission.

It was also pointed out that following the court’s certification of the fugitive as extraditable (and following the resolution of any habeas petition filed thereafter), the US Secretary of State will conduct an “independent assessment” of whether the fugitive should be surrendered. At that time if charges are no longer pending against Bisram in Guyana or the Guyana Government no longer seeks his extradition, the US State Attorney said he would then not be surrendered to Guyana.

Bisram and five others have been charged with the killing of Number 70 Village carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt. Bisram was nabbed in the US on July 16th and is now on remand facing extradition.

Bisram, local 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.

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