Bis­ram’s NY lawyer seek­ing to stay rul­ing on ex­tra­di­tion

…un­til Guyana court de­cides on chal­lenge to charge

Stabroek News - - LETTERS -

The lawyer in New York for Guyanese mur­der ac­cused, Mar­cus Bis­ram is seek­ing to stall a rul­ing on his ex­tra­di­tion pro­ceed­ings there on the ba­sis of his chal­lenge in the Guyana High Court against the charge.

How­ever, the US gov­ern­ment in a quick re­sponse sub­mit­ted that the pend­ing mo­tion in Guyana has no ef­fect on the US court’s prob­a­ble

cause de­ter­mi­na­tion.

In a let­ter to Jus­tice Peggy Kuo, Bis­ram’s New York lawyer, Mario F. Gal­lucci said his client’s Guyanese lawyer Sanjeev Datadin in­formed that a rul­ing on the dis­missal of the mur­der charge has been re­served un­til Oc­to­ber 30th.

“I still be­lieve that this rul­ing is sub­stan­tially crit­i­cal and es­sen­tial to the prob­a­ble cause el­e­ment of ex­tra­di­tion. I am ask­ing Your Hon­our to re­frain from is­su­ing an opin­ion un­til such time as the Guyanese court makes a fi­nal de­ci­sion,” the lawyer said in the let­ter, seen by this news­pa­per.

The case the lawyer is re­fer­ring to is the one be­fore Jus­tice Gino Per­saud who is hear­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion to have the mur­der charge against Bis­ram quashed. Datadin ar­gued be­fore the court that the charge is “with­out le­gal foun­da­tion, null, void, un­rea­son­able and un­fair.”

The lawyer had sub­mit­ted that the only ev­i­dence which the state pur­ports to have against his client is a state­ment of its key wit­ness, Chaman Chu­ni­lall, al­leg­ing to have heard Bis­ram say­ing words to the ef­fect “kill him.”

Dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry (PI) into the charge against Bis­ram’s five coac­cused, be­fore Mag­is­trate Char­lyn Ar­tiga at the Spring­lands Mag­is­trate’s Court, how­ever, Chu­ni­lall, un­der cros­sex­am­i­na­tion, pur­port­edly re­canted his story by say­ing that he knows noth­ing about the in­ci­dent. As a re­sult, Datadin ar­gued that the re­can­ta­tion is suf­fi­cient to war­rant the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) to with­draw the charge Bis­ram.

Last week, the pros­e­cu­tion in the US ex­tra­di­tion mat­ter had asked Jus­tice Kuo to find that the ev­i­dence be­fore her court is suf­fi­cient to jus­tify his com­mit­tal on felony charges if the crime had oc­curred in the United States.

That was among the dec­la­ra­tions the pros­e­cu­tion sought in the pro­posed or­der to be made by the judge. lev­elled

‘No ef­fect’

against

In a re­sponse, filed hours after the let­ter from Bis­ram’s lawyer was sub­mit­ted to Jus­tice Kuo seek­ing to stay any rul­ing, the pros­e­cu­tion pointed out that the ev­i­dence be­fore the court con­sists of sworn eye­wit­ness af­fi­davits de­scrib­ing Bis­ram’s pur­ported com­mis­sion of the crime.

US As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Ni­cholas J. Moscow ar­gued that the present case in the Guyana High Court has no ef­fect on the judge de­ter­min­ing the ex­tra­di­tion mat­ter.

“This court is not charged with de­ter­min­ing whether the ev­i­dence prop­erly sub­mit­ted by the Gov­ern­ment of Guyana has been re­but­ted in Guyana- and the fugi­tive has of­fered no ad­mis­si­ble ‘ex­plana­tory’ ev­i­dence to this Court that might vi­ti­ate the prob­a­ble cause to be­lieve that he com­mit­ted the mur­der with which he is charged,” the As­sis­tant At­tor­ney said in his sub­mis­sion.

It was also pointed out that fol­low­ing the court’s cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the fugi­tive as ex­tra­ditable (and fol­low­ing the res­o­lu­tion of any habeas pe­ti­tion filed there­after), the US Sec­re­tary of State will con­duct an “in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment” of whether the fugi­tive should be sur­ren­dered. At that time if charges are no longer pend­ing against Bis­ram in Guyana or the Guyana Gov­ern­ment no longer seeks his ex­tra­di­tion, the US State At­tor­ney said he would then not be sur­ren­dered to Guyana.

Bis­ram and five oth­ers have been charged with the killing of Num­ber 70 Village car­pen­ter Faiyaz Narine­datt. Bis­ram was nabbed in the US on July 16th and is now on re­mand fac­ing ex­tra­di­tion.

Bis­ram, lo­cal po­lice have al­leged, pro­cured and com­manded Or­lando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Dio­dath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Ni­ran Ya­coob to mur­der Narine­datt be­tween Oc­to­ber 31 and Novem­ber 1, 2016, at Num­ber 70 Village, Ber­bice.

Mar­cus Bis­ram

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