Convicted murder accused freed of murder charge

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A jury was asked to return a formal verdict of not guilty in favour of a man who was initially sentenced to a 55-year jail term for murder.

Justice Priya Sewnarine Beharry on Wednesday upheld a no-case submission and directed the jury to enter a formal verdict of not guilty thus freeing 39-year-old Naresh Ramjohn of Stanleytown, and Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam.

It was his second trial for the July 2, 2008, murder of Anthony Samaroo. In 2014, a jury had found Ramjohn guilty and Justice Navendra Singh had imposed a 55 ½ years jail term.

Freed murder accused, Naresh Ramjohn

The sentence was subsequently appealed. Attorney Murseline Bacchus had contended that the trial Judge had not given the jury proper guidance.

The Appeal Court then ordered a retrial with Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry presided over that retrial.

The prosecution’s case was presented by Attorney Mandel Moore.

Justice Sewnarine-Beharry had earlier rejected the prosecution’s effort to have the statement of star witness Ryan Samaroo admitted. Ryan Samaroo, who had given evidence in the Preliminary Inquiry, suddenly disappeared from the area.

Another brother, Tejpaul Samaroo, who is a prisoner in the New Amsterdam Prison, had also testified in the Magistrate’s Court at the first trial. He told the court that he does not know who killed his brother and denied helping to take his brother to the hospital.

Defence Attorney Arudranauth Gossai in his no-case submissions told the court that there is no evidence to link his client to the crime. He said the prosecution witness, Brian Dhanpat, stated that he saw the incident and it was “Saddam’s” brothers who were seen inflicting wounds to the now dead Samaroo.

Gossai also submitted that there was no evidence submitted that the murder was premeditated.

The prosecution’s case was that on the day in question, Ryan Samaroo was walking on Levi Dam, when he was confronted by Ramjohn who allegedly stabbed him to death.

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