Solicitor to submit expert reports in appeal against death penalty for former GDF coast guard
The murder of Bartica’s gold miner…
Kaieteur News – Defense Attorney Nigel Hughes is expected to present some new information to the Court of Appeal to support his arguments against the death penalty imposed on three convicted and sentenced Guyana Defense Force (GDF) ranks for August. 20, 2009 Bartica gold miner murder, Dwieve Kant Ramdass.
Yesterday during a hearing of the case before the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards, and appellate Magistrates Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory, Hughes sought the Court’s permission to introduce studies by experts who have carried out extensive research on the death penalty.
Counsel of the State and Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Dionne McCammon, told the courts that he has no difficulty presenting the new evidence as long as it is the documents and not the real experts who present their findings.
Given the State’s decision not to oppose the submission, the Court has set a new timeline for airing the case. Hughes was given until Feb. 11, 2020 to file and submit the new submissions. The State was allowed until March 2, 2020, to file a response and the Court is expected to hear oral arguments over the matter by March 15, 2020.
The appeal for the three former ranks was met with several delays. The last time the case was called in the Court of Appeal was in 2019. Back then, there were obstacles due to some missing records.
The Court of Appeal had initially set October 18, 2019 for the appeal hearing. At that hearing, lawyers Nigel Hughes and Latchmie Rahamat raised preliminary issues as it related to the state of the appeal records. Hughes had drawn the court’s attention that the appeal records do not reflect a judgment on Voir Dire made by the case judge in respect of two of the appellants.
Gordon’s lawyer, Rahamat, who represented him during the trial, had told the court he could recall the judge making a ruling after the Voir Dire expired. He pointed out, however, that this ruling could not be cross-referenced with the court’s written appeal records.
Apart from this, Rahamat pointed out that some of the evidence in summing up the judge was incorrectly reflected. For example, among other things, Rahamat said that what was said by one of the witnesses was recorded as being said by another witness. At that hearing, McCammon also admitted that the judge’s summary appeared disconnected in the written records of the appeal type and that “some pages do not flow.”