No evidence about a shallow grave or gutted body was led in court

Dear Editor,

Stabroek News had an opportunity to correct itself on its false reporting of the Pomeroon River boat accident of April 25, 2016, featured several times in June, 2016, and for which my clients Lennox Baharally and Rondell Edwards were charged for murder. On Saturday, April 8, again in your coverage, you mentioned that the body of the victim Mohamed Abdool Shameer was found “gutted and buried in a shallow grave”. No such evidence was led in court, so how could you arrive at such wild conclusions?

Stabroek News is therefore guilty of peddling fake news and I am at a loss as to why this reputable news outfit feels a compulsion to do so.

The evidence led by the prosecution in the Preliminary Inquiry all supported the defence case’s theory that it was a boating accident, involving a motor driven boat and a smaller non-motorized ballyhoo, which resulted in the unfortunate death of Mohameed Abdool Shameer. Dr Nehaul Singh, the government pathologist who performed the post mortem on Shameer and who was called by the prosecution, said that death was instantaneous, and that the injuries sustained including various cuts to the victim’s torso were consistent with propeller cuts that could have come from the 75 HP motor, attached to the boat, driven by one of the accused, Lennox Baharally.

The lead detective’s evidence was that there was no shallow grave. Police Legal Advisor (ret’d) Justice Claudette Singh examining the same evidence and statements, recommended a charge of manslaughter, but the DPP charged for murder.

Your newspaper plays a very important role in our society, but it must at all times ensure that it is accurate in its reporting. Your report on this matter on Saturday again disappointingly falls very short of that stringent requirement.

Yours faithfully,

Jerome Khan

Attorney-at-Law

Editor’s note: The reference to “gutted and buried” did not emanate from the Preliminary Inquiry but was background information from the original reporting on this case. Mr Khan would be well aware that testimony at a preliminary inquiry cannot be reported by the media.

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