Public continues to express outrage over dismissal of charges

Public continues to express outrage over dismissal of charges

As the public outcry continues following the shocking dismissal of the case involving the water street businessman Rondy Jagdeo who is accused of murdering biker Kurt Davis and the way he hurriedly left the court.

While businessman Rondy Jagdeo remains a free man this evening the ministry of home affairs is paying keen interest in the matter. The witnesses failing to show up in court during the preliminary inquiry was the basis for the chief magistrate dismissing the case.

Since then there has been a public outcry by citizens who lashed out at the police for doing very little to protect witnesses that were expected to give evidence in the matter. [see more in video]

Also read:March 23, 2014 – Guyana Chronicle report:

Crime Chief: Randy Jagdeo knew he would be free

THE FACT that murder accused, Randy Jagdeo had a CRB motorcycle parked outside the Georgetown Magistrates Courts on the day charges against him were dismissed due to the non-appearance of civilian witnesses is very alarming.This is according to Crime Chief, Deputy Commissioner Seelall Persaud, who further opined that the businessman had to have had prior knowledge that he was not going back into police custody when he left for court that morning.

Randy Jagdeo had been on remand for the murder of a close friend and associate, the biker, Kirk Davis, who had been shot, execution-style, while sitting in a vehicle outside a home in Eccles in 2013.
Chief Magistrate Priya Beharry threw out the murder case last Thursday after police witnesses continued to absent themselves from the proceedings.
The Crime Chief was asked last Friday about this embarrassment to the Guyana Police Force and the rationale behind the usage of state resources to conduct investigations, only to have cases — especially high-profile ones — thrown out whenever the police fail to do proper investigations, or refuse to show up and give evidence.
Persaud recalled that in this case, it was a civilian witness who had failed to show up for court, and not the police. Asked about the mechanism available to the police to ensure that state witnesses, whether civilian or police,show up for court hearings, the Crime Chief said that at the level of the police, there is nothing that can be done when a witness fails to show up for court. Rather, he said, it is the court which has to prompt action on the part of the police with respect to bringing witnesses to court.
He explained that the magistrate or the court would issue an arrest warrant for the witness, and the police would then act on that arrest warrant by going after the persons of interest to the court.
When that person is apprehended, he/she would be kept in police custody until the next court date.
Persaud said that without the warrant from the court, there is very little that the police can do; hence the need for the court to decide whether or not to issue a warrant for that person’s arrest, and that is done at the discretion of the magistrate.
He said that all the police can do is hope that persons who are expected to show up in court as witnesses honour their moral obligation and show up for court.
Persaud said he could not say why the court did not take a certain course of action with respect to ensuring that the witness was present for court.
He said it is possible for this murder case to be reopened on order from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The prosecutor in the matter would need to send a report to the DPP’s Chambers for advice to be forthcoming.
The Director of Public Prosecutions can cause action to be taken to reopen the case; the DPP could instruct the magistrate to reopen the preliminary inquiry, according to Mr Persaud.
However, he stayed very clear of giving his opinion on what decision the DPP would take, while pointing out that he is familiar with the fact that the DPP is a competent person, and is confident that she would act as she sees fitting.

(By Leroy Smith)

 

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Comments

  • wakar hakiek  On April 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    My brother and his friend were killed by a drunk driver who was freed before my brother was buried . A third was hit in this same accident on nov 16th 2013 who is still not able to work n support his family .Driver was 3 times above the alcohol level .Is that justice ?All hapenned at W C D on the above date .In America its manslaughter .

  • Clyde Duncan  On April 9, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Wakar: Sorry to hear of your loss; but a successful criminal conviction for vehicular manslaughter is not that cut and dried in the USA, or Canada. In fact, it is very difficult to get a drunk driving conviction under the criminal code, that is why the authorities usually charge the alleged impaired driver under the motor vehicle act.
    I understand we are discussing the death of a person – my point is, it is difficult to convict in the USA, where you live; and Canada, where I live.

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