Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2013 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, May 24, 2013
Relatives of ten men convicted of the
murder of Dole Chadee s brother, Thackoor
Boodram, protested outside the Hall of
Justice yesterday asking for their relatives
case to be reopened.
The protest comes almost two years after
the State s main witness in the trial, Junior
Grandison, admitted he fabricated evidence
against the men.
After Grandison gave a sworn statement
admitting his false testimony in July 2011,
the men s relatives and lawyers petitioned
former president George Maxwell Richards.
In the petition they requested that
Richards refer the case to the Appeal Court
for it to be reopened in light of the new
evidence. Richards two presidential terms
ended this year and he was replaced by for-
mer High Court judge Anthony Carmona.
On August 7, 2001, Michael "Rat"
Maharaj, Samuel Maharaj, Damien "Tommy"
Ramiah, Bobby Ramiah, Seenath "Farmer"
Ramiah, Daniel "Fella" Gopaul, Richard
Huggins, Leslie Huggins, Mark "Bico"
Jaikaran and Junior "Heads" Phillip were all
convicted of Boodram s murder and were
each read the death sentence by then Justice
The appeal of the convictions was dis-
missed by the Appeal Court. However, their
death sentences were commuted to life after
the Privy Council ruled their appeals had
The new evidence introduced by Gran-
dison potentially affects the State s case
against all the men except Phillips. During
the men s trial, Grandison gave evidence
against all ten men. Phillip s cousin Haile
Selassie Amoroso also gave substantial evi-
dence against his relative.
In an interview yesterday, Michael
Maharaj s brother, Enil, explained that since
the petition was sent to the President, the
families had received no feedback.
"Is 15 years now them boys inside jail.
Grandison say he lied so them boys should
be freed," Enil said.
Enil said they would continue their protest
until they were contacted and informed of
the status of the petition and the case.
He said he hoped since Carmona was a
former judge with extensive experience in
the criminal courts, he would seriously con-
sider the petition.
Boodram, a driver with the Telecommu-
nications Service of T&T (TSTT) and a pig
farmer, was kidnapped on December 20,
1997. Ten days later, his severed head was
found in a whiskey box at the Caroni cre-
In his affidavits, which the men are relying
on, Grandison said he was coerced into tes-
tifying against the men and his testimony
was "false and did not represent the truth."
Grandison said he decided to change his
evidence after the men were convicted
because he became a Christian and had a
change of heart.
"I do understand that the consequences
of making this declaration are very serious
but I can no longer live with the guilt of
knowing that persons could be incarcerated
for the rest of their lives as a result of evi-
dence which I swore was the truth but which
was not the truth. I can no longer live with
my conscience," he said in the statement.
Two people charged with 23 fraud-related
offences who were held in England last Friday
had their bail revoked yesterday.
Warrants were also issued for hairdresser Summer
Bristol and Shawn Davis by Magistrate Marcia Mur-
ray, who ordered no bail on arrest. The matter was
recalled in the Port-of-Spain court yesterday but
the two did not reappear.
They were held in England last Friday, having
been granted bail after their last court appearance
on April 25.
Their lawyer, Keith Scotland, said they should
return to the country by Monday.
Summonses were also issued for their respective
bailors to attend court to say why they ought not
to forfeit the security used to secure bail for Bristol
Bristol, 32, of Millennium Park, Trincity, and
Davis, 39, an engineer from Eric Roach Circular
Road, La Horquetta, are jointly charged with pro-
moter Lincoln Amery Gopeechan, 30, of Fourth
Street, Montague Avenue, Trincity, and electrician
Leon Gomes, 38, of Spring Village, Valsayn.
The four face 23 charges for allegedly obtaining
close to $3 million from various branches of First
Citizens on April 6 and 7.
They were each granted $750,000 bail on April
15. Bristol and Davis were the only two to post bail.
Appearing on behalf of the bank yesterday, Senior
Counsel Sophia Chote made an application for $3.2
million to be returned to the bank for "safekeeping."
Chote said the bank had sought the court s help
after investigators seemed hesitant to return the
money, which is now being kept by the police.
She said the application for the money to be
returned was filed on May 17 and served on acting
Police Commissioner Stephen Williams on May
20.Chote offered the court two options, the first
being that the money should be returned to the
bank s possession for the duration of the case to
ensure that what was seized was indeed what would
The second option entailed the court ordering
that the money should be lodged at the Central
Bank so there would be no question of it "not being
Winter responded by asking the court for a short
adjournment as he had only been informed of the
The matter was adjourned to May 29.
Bail for two fraud
Relatives want 10 freed
...after witness admits to lying
Strong winds blew an
umbrella off this vendor's
cart as he pushed it across
morning, causing the
traffic to pause while he
PHOTO: BRIAN NG FATT
San Fernando magis-
trate Natalie Diop yester-
day warned soca star
Rodney "Benjai" Le Blanc
to stop making confirmed
bookings for foreign per-
formances until his court
matter is completed.
Diop made the state-
ment when Le Blanc reap-
peared in court yesterday
charged assaulting Police
Constable Valentine East-
man, who is currently fac-
ing a human trafficking
Le Blanc, who is repre-
sented by attorney Shalini
Khan, is accused of spit-
ting on Eastman during a
fete on San Fernando Hill
in 2012. Le Blanc was on
stage performing at the
Yesterday Diop told Le
Blanc that Khan sent her
a letter requesting an
she was ill.
The magistrate asked
Le Blanc whether he had
made any confirmed
bookings out of the coun-
try for June and he said,
Diop told him: "The
court urges you that until
this matter is completed
try your very best to not
make any bookings to be
elsewhere. The court
wishes to ensure that the
matter is dealt with as
soon as possible. When
you do that the matter
continues to be delayed.
Every effort should be
made to avoid that."
The matter will resume
on June 27.
The magistrate said on
that day she would deal
with submissions from the
defence and court prose-
cutor Sgt Marlon Bruce on
the issue of bad character
Magistrate tells Benjai don't travel
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