Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2014 Contents Maharaj, once the second
biggest racehorse owner in the
UK, told Death Row Stories
episode Murder In Miami he sim-
ply could not believe it when he
was found guilty of the murders.
In the programme, produced
by Hollywood legend Robert Red-
ford and narrated by Oscar-win-
ning actress Susan Sarandon
which aired on network CNN in
the US recently, he said: "When
the verdict took place that I was
found guilty, I thought...This can t
be real. It is unreal."
He added, in his first interview
from prison: "I couldn t believe
in America you could get found
guilty for something you didn t
Since he was jailed, former
members of a Colombian cartel
have testified that he is innocent
and that the Moo Youngs were
murdered on the orders of noto-
rious drug baron Pablo Escobar.
Maharaj was sentenced to 25
years to life for killing Derrick and
Maharaj denies he killed Derrick and Duane Moo Young
July 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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From Page A37
given a death sentence for the murder
of his 23-year-old son Duane. It was
commuted to life imprisonment in
2002 and in 2008 officials in Florida
denied his request for clemency.
Describing the transformation in his
life after being arrested and jailed,
Maharaj said: "Put it this way, I went
from living like a prince to existing
like an animal."
During the hearing the family of the
murder victims pleaded tearfully with
the state clemency board to deny
Maharaj s request.
US prosecutors told the board that
he had a fair trial and a series of appeal
hearings and other investigations that
have all come to the same conclusion.
In the programme Maharaj claims
he admitted owning a gun when ques-
tioned by a detective, but said this
was not the answer presented in court.
"I told him, yes, I owned a gun. I
owned one when I was living in
Trinidad. In England I owned a gun."
He also said he "just couldn t believe
my ears" when no witnesses were
called as part of his defence case.
Lawyers for the Bar of England and
Wales, the House of Lords and mem-
bers of the European Parliament have
asserted in the past that Maharaj s ini-
tial trial did not meet international
standards for fairness.
Clive Stafford Smith of the UK-
based human rights charity, Reprieve,
has represented the Briton since he
was on death row.
Reprieve said a Miami court will
hear Maharaj s claims of innocence in
November, adding that the documen-
tary highlights "serious failings" in his
original defence case.
Speaking ahead of the programme
Mr Stafford Smith said: "As this doc-
umentary will show, there is over-
whelming evidence that Kris Maharaj
is an innocent victim of police cor-
ruption and a broken justice system.
"Kris has languished in prison for
27 years too long. He can only hope
that this November the court will put
right this colossal injustice."
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