3 charged for death of man at Sparendaam lockups

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…family pressing ahead with $50M lawsuit

Although Police initially said that 39-year-old Kallicharan Sawack died from self-inflicted wounds at the Sparendaam lockups back in January, <<<Inews>>> has confirmed that three men have been arrested for the death of the welder.

<<<Inews>>> was told that 23- year-old Luis Alfredo and 24-year-old Jose Lezama, both labourers of Venezuela, were arrested for the death of Sawack along with Heeralall Girdhari, a 26-year-old boat captain of Eteringbang, Cuyuni River.

One of the men was remanded to prison while the other two did not appear at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court when the matter was heard.

However, the distraught family members had attained legal representation by Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall, who had filed a lawsuit for over $50 million for the negligence of the Guyana Police Force as well as for the breach of the Force’s statutory duties under the Police Act, among other things.

This publication spoke with the family’s lawyer, who said he will press ahead with the lawsuit against the State.

Kallicharan Saywack

Nandlall contended that it was due to the negligence of the Guyana Police Force that his client died and the charges laid against the three men will not affect the proceedings pending in the High Court.

“Even if, let us assume that it is established that these men murdered my client, the police still has responsibility in law and a duty to ensure that prisoners who are in their custody are kept in a safe environment and they have to ensure and do that which is necessary to ensure that the environment and the place in which these prisoners are kept at all times is safe,” he explained

Sawack was said to be found in an unconscious state hours after he was arrested for disorderly behaviour at his Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara home.

Family members were reportedly told by the police that the man was making strange sounds in the cell and was even banging his head on the walls before he was separated from the other inmates.

The now dead man’s mother, Ramdai Sawack, had said that the family went to take food for the man at the lockups on January 20, 2019, following his arrest on January 17, 2019, but was prevented from doing so.

The tearful woman even said that it was not until she showed up for court that she learnt that her son was hospitalised. The woman recalled seeing her son bleeding from his eyes and unable to speak.

The mother has long contended that her son would never have injured himself.

The sister of the dead man, Shivani Sawak, is suing the State for over $50 million for the alleged unlawful death in her capacity as representative of his estate.

According to the court documents seen by this publication, Sawak is claiming damages in excess of $10 million for the death and personal injuries sustained by her brother while in Police custody.

Sawak, who was granted a court order by the Chief Justice on March 14, 2019, making her the estate’s representative, also wants damages in excess of $10 million for the negligence of the Guyana Police Force, as well as another $10 million plus judgement for damages for the breach of the Force’s statutory duties under the Police Act.

Sawak also wants damages “in excess of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) for the Guyana Police Force’s violation of the deceased fundamental right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment as guaranteed in Article 141 in the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana”.

In addition, she is seeking exemplary damages in excess of $10 million, as well as interest and costs and any related orders the judge grants.

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