Man reportedly paid only $10,000 for 2008 murder of Ruby businessman

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Dead: Businessman Habiboodean

Linden Lewis, called “Bullet”, the man who is on trial for the February 2008 murder of 77-year-old Ruby, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) businessman Habiboodean told Police detectives that he was only paid $10,000 to commit the act, according to Police Inspector Devon Lowe.

Bibi Nazeela Habiboodean, the daughter of the businessman, along with Lewis are jointly charged with his murder which occurred between February 14 and 15, 2008. The two murder accused are currently on trial for the capital offence before Justice Sandil Kissoon and a 12-member jury at the Demerara High Court.

They have pleaded not guilty to the joint charge. The defence lawyers are Latchmie Rahamat and Trenton Lake. Evidence for the prosecution is being led by Senior State Counsel Lisa Cave.

According to reports, the elderly man died after he was badly beaten at his home. The businessman’s widow and one of his employees were initially charged with his murder.

However, the case against them was thrown out at the end of a Preliminary Inquiry owing to insufficient evidence. The murder of the pensioner went cold for several years until 2016 when Police received new leads which led to the arrest of his daughter and the alleged hitman.

Murder accused: Linden Lewis and Bibi Nazeela Habiboodean

On Thursday, Prosecution witness Police Inspector Devon Lowe testified about an interview he and other detectives had with Lewis at the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters, Eve Leary. Lowe said Lewis related that Bibi promised him $6M, along with a piece of land, house, and a car to kill her father.

Bibi wanted her father dead because unlike her other siblings, she did not get any of his assets, the Police witness said as he recalled what Lewis disclosed during the interview.

“He alone [Habiboodean] went sitting down in a chair and he ask me what I doing in the house and I tell he, he daughter send me to kill him. Then I start fuh cuff he up on he neck, chest and belly and he stop move,” Inspector Lowe said as he recounted what Lewis had told investigators.

Inspector Lowe said Lewis told him that after he killed the man he asked Bibi about his $6M payment and the other items she promised him but she told him that she had to go to the bank. According to the Police Inspector, Lewis related that the woman only paid him $5000.

The murder accused told Police ranks that shortly after a man by the name of “John” give him another $5000 and told him to go away in the “bush” and that everything will be okay upon his return.

The Police witness said that Lewis told him, “So I guh way to Puruni Backdam. Two years after I come back I hear the matter finish and I ask John what happened to my car, my money and house, and land and he tell me the money done on lawyer, and tuck shop and I ain’t got nothing to get. That was it and I never ask back for anything and I never see back the woman.”

“Them wicked to black people children. Dem take advantage of me cause I deh young and didn’t thinking straight. I even hear my uncle Micheal get $7 million from [Bibi] for this same wuk. I did lash [her] father in he head with a wood and I throw away the wood at the back of the yard,” the murder accused said in a statement to the Police.