Gary Best goes on trial for causing death of national cyclist; 3 testify

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Former Army Chief Gary Best in the presence of his Attorney Nigel Hughes [Guyana Chronicle photo]
Three witnesses were on Tuesday called to testify at the trial of former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Gary Best, who is accused of causing the death of national cyclist Jude Bentley in a road accident.

The trial commenced virtually at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and will continue on Thursday and Friday before Magistrate Rondell Weaver.

The witnesses who testified are two police ranks and a civilian.

Jude Bentley

According to the first charge against Best, on February 8, 2020, at Clive Lloyd Drive, Greater Georgetown, he drove a motor vehicle PRR 8182 in a manner dangerous to the public, causing the death of Bentley. It was further alleged that on the same day at the same location, he drove the motor vehicle while his blood alcohol level was 85 micrograms- above the legal limit.

In relation to the causing death charge, Best, an executive member of the PNC/R, pleaded not guilty and was ordered to post $500,000 bail. In relation to the charge for driving under the influence, he was released on his own recognizance (self-bail). As a condition of bail, Best was ordered to report to the Police Force Traffic Headquarters on specified dates until the completion of his trial.

He is being represented by prominent Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes.

Bentley, 41, was struck down and run over by a vehicle driven by Best on February 8, 2020, on Clive Lloyd Drive near the Russian Embassy turn. At the time of the accident, both Best and Bentley were travelling in an easterly direction.

Investigators found that Best was driving under the influence of alcohol. After the accident, Best was taken into custody but later complained of feeling unwell and as such was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted.

Following the accident, Best had asked Bentley’s family for forgiveness. Best had served in the Guyana Defence Force for some 34 years and was a former Presidential Adviser under the David Granger Administration.