Murder accused freed in retrial four years after conviction

— court finds no evidence he was involved in crime

2008 murder accused, Naresh Ramjohn, yesterday walked out of the High Court in Berbice a free man, after Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry upheld a no-case submission at the end of a lengthy retrial.

In 2014, Ramjohn was found guilty of murdering Anthony Samaroo, 28, of Levi Dam, An-goy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, on July 2, 2008, at Levi Dam.

Ramjohn, who was sentenced to 55 and a half years imprisonment, had appealed his conviction and the Appeal Court ordered a retrial of the matter.

Yesterday, his attorneys Arud Gossai and Surihya Sabsook, presented a no-case submission, which was upheld.

Justice Sewnarine-Beharry instructed the jury to return with an informal verdict of not guilty, after she ruled that there was no evidence to show that Ramjohn took part in the alleged murder but rather, was a mere bystander.

Prosecutor Mandel Moore presented the state’s case.

During the retrial, one of the main witnesses for the prosecution, Tajpaul Samaroo, brother of the deceased, told the court that he could not remember much.

The man said that he did not know who killed his brother, and that all he knew was that his brother was murdered.

Meanwhile, Ramjohn, yesterday, after thanking the court, rushed and hugged his mother and other relatives who were present.

On September 10, 2014, Ramjohn, a then 40-year-old labourer of Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, was sentenced by Justice Navindra Singh at the  High Court in Berbice to 55 and a half years in jail, after a jury found him guilty of murdering Samaroo. Justice Singh had started off the sentence at 60 years but subtracted four and a half years for time Ramjohn spent on remand.

In the report given to the court by Senior Probation Officer Claudia Munroe, moments before the sentencing in 2014, it was reported that Ramjohn and Samaroo were associated in illegal activities, such as abusing drugs and thefts. It was also reported that disagreements between the two could have resulted in Samaroo’s murder.

Ramjohn had maintained his innocence during both trials.

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