Absence of accused delays summing up in child rape trial

A rape accused failed to appear in court yesterday afternoon when Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall was about to sum up the case and hand the matter to the jury for deliberation.

Ganesh Chaitram is on trial before the judge and jury at the High Court in Georgetown on the charge of sexual activity with a child involving penetration. The offence was allegedly committed in May, 2016, when the child was just 10-years-old at the time.

The trial started on Tuesday and the prosecution and defence both made closing arguments yesterday morning, while the judge was slated to sum up yesterday afternoon.

However, when the matter was about to be reconvened, it was discovered that Chaitram, of Mosquito Hall, Mahaica, was a no show and his attorney, Beulah Williams, could not account for his absence.

The judge reconvened the trial and informed the jury that the accused did not show up and that the matter was being adjourned until today to ascertain what transpired.

Chaitram was on bail at the time and this newspaper understands that because the judge had not commenced the summing up, he remained at large and was not taken into custody.

Stabroek News understands that should the accused not return to court, the judge can proceed in his absence as the jury would have already heard the evidence.

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