US judge orders Marcus Bisram be extradited

Marcus Brian Bisram

US Judge Peggy Kuo has ordered that Guyanese murder accused Marcus Bisram be extradited to Guyana to face the charge here, effectively thwarting his defence team’s bid to stay her hands as they seek to have the murder charge dismissed in the High Court here.

Justice Kuo made the ruling yesterday and committed Bisram to the custody of the United States Marshal pending a further decision on extradition and surrender by the Secretary of State in keeping with US laws.

In the order, seen by this newspaper, the judge said after reviewing the evidence presented in the case, in particular, the certified and authenticated documents submitted by the Government of Guyana, she found that the court had jurisdiction in the case and that the extradition treaty between the US and Guyana (entered into between the United Kingdom and the United States on December 22nd, 1931) was in full force and effect.

She found that the individual before her is the same individual charged with murder in Guyana and that the Government of Guyana submitted documents that were properly authenticated and certified.

“The evidence before this Court is sufficient to justify the Fugitive’s committal for trial, on felony charges, had the offence which he is accused of having committed occurred in the United States…” the Judge said in the order, which was proposed by the prosecution last week.

On Tuesday, Bisram’s New York lawyer Mario F. Gallucci had sought to stall the ruling on his extradition proceedings on the basis of his challenge in the Guyana High Court against the charge.

The move was immediately opposed by the US Government.

In a letter to Justice Kuo, Gallucci had said his client’s Guyanese lawyer, Sanjeev Datadin had 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 stated in the letter, seen by this newspaper.

Datadin approached the High Court here to have the murder charge against Bisram quashed. He argued before Justice Gino Persaud that the charge is “without legal foundation, null, void, unreasonable and unfair.”

He had also 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) withdrawing the charge levelled against Bisram.

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. 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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