By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – As one of his last acts as President, Donald Ramotar pardoned a convicted child murderer, a move which he was heavily criticized for.
However, the President recently defended his actions, explaining to iNews that the young man, who was pardoned, did not deserve to be in prison and he [Ramotar] was unaware that the parents of the slain child were still grieving.
Ravindra Deo, the pardoned convict, was serving a life imprisonment sentence for killing 8 – year-old Vishnu Bhim of Annandale, East Coast Demerara in 1994.
Prior to this sentence, he was given the death penalty, which was later commuted to a life sentence. With heavy public backlash on the issue, Ramotar stated that there were several factors that led to his decision to pardon Deo.
“At the time that I pardoned the young man, I did not know that the family of murdered child – that the wounds had not healed….I know for a fact that his [Deo’s] father died while he was in prison….his mother was very, very sick and she came to me on several occasions,” the former President told iNews during an interview.
According to the former President, the mother died shortly after her son was pardoned. He pointed out too that Guyana’s Chief Justice, Ian Chang had also stated that the man should not have been convicted.
“Ian Chang on more than one occasion mentioned that that boy should have never been in jail, that he should have never been charged with murder,” said Ramotar adding, “he [Deo] was not a dangerous person so to speak.”
The child killer, who is now 39, was just 19 – years – old when he kidnapped and murdered the 8 – year-old, who was on his way home from school. He had reportedly demanded a ransom of $1M.
Following the child’s murder, Deo was arrested in America Street, on December 1, 1994. He then led detectives to the boy’s body which was bound gagged and battered in the backdam at La Bonne Intention.