Court to rule on DPP’s appeal of decade-old rape acquittal

The Court of Appeal will soon rule on the state’s appeal against Pertab Hanoman Singh, who was cleared of a rape charge in 2005 after a High Court Judge upheld a no-case submission in his favour.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has contended that although there was sufficient evidence on which a reasonable jury, properly directed, “might have” convicted the accused, Justice William Ramlal ruled that there was no case for Singh to answer.

That ruling was made on July 7, 2005.

In its grounds for appeal, the State is asking the Appeal Court to determine whether Justice Ramlal was correct in law, in ruling that due to the inconsistencies and discrepancies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, its case was so weak and tenuous to have rendered its evidence unreliable.

Secondly, the State has asked the court to determine whether the trial judge was correct in law, in ruling that the prosecution failed to make out a prima facie case against Singh.

Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Rishi Persaud, who are presiding over the appeal, have already heard arguments in the matter.

At a hearing yesterday morning, the judges adjourned the case, announcing that notices will be sent out for decision.

Singh, called “Skylab,” has repeatedly been absent from the hearings, and the court has warned, by way of newspaper notices, that his failure to attend will result in the matter being heard and determined in his absence.

Singh’s last known address was given as Lot 28B No. 59 Village, Corriverton, Berbice.

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