“I do not know any­thing about the rob­be­ry”

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

“I do not know any­thing about the rob­be­ry,” said Ro­ma­no Me­ri­ba (32) who is cur­rent­ly on tri­al for ar­med rob­be­ry. He is being sus­pec­ted of ha­ving rob­bed a lo­cal en­tre­pre­neur with the help of Ru­ben S (40), Er­rol S (41) and Antho­ny C (55) on No­vem­ber 9, 2015. Fri­day’s tri­al la­sted mo­re than 4 hours. All of the sus­pects we­re ques­ti­o­ned on Fri­day. Me­ri­ba told the court that he was a bit emo­ti­o­nal be­cau­se he has al­rea­dy been about a year in jail. “One day in jail see­ms li­ke a year es­pe­ci­al­ly gi­ven the fact that I did not com­mit ar­med rob­be­ry and al­so did not ha­ve any plans to rob any­bo­dy,” said Me­ri­ba who claims that pe­o­p­le men­ti­o­ned his na­me af­ter the ar­med rob­be­ry and that he the­re­fo­re con­tac­ted his la­wy­ers, Ra­oul Lo­bo and Be­ni­to Pick. He re­por­ted to the po­li­ce on No­vem­ber 13, 2015 and was ta­ken in cus­to­dy. He poin­ted out that he was told that Er­rol S had in­cri­mi­na­ted him. Me­ri­ba clai­med that he did not go to the hou­se of Sieg­mund Strui­ken who was shot dead du­ring a shoot­out with the po­li­ce short­ly af­ter the ar­med rob­be­ry had ta­ken pla­ce. He clai­med that he was at the ho­me of the M fa­mi­ly at the ti­me of the ar­med rob­be­ry. The at­tor­neys Lo­bo and Pick on Fri­day as­ked the court to re­lea­se their client from po­li­ce cus­to­dy. Lo­bo poin­ted out that Sus­pect Er­rol S had re­quested to gi­ve his sta­te­ment in the pre­sen­ce of of­fi­cer M. He ex­plai­ned that it is pos­si­ble that the Er­rol S and of­fi­cer M we­re wor­king to­gether. Er­rol S has de­nied ha­ving as­ked that of­fi­cer M be pre­sent. Lo­bo poin­ted out that of­fi­cer M has told lies. He poin­ted out that of­fi­cer M had ini­ti­al­ly clai­med that he was pre­sent du­ring the ar­rest of the sus­pects but that he la­ter clai­med that he was not pre­sent. “The po­li­ce of­fi­cer is on­ly tel­ling lies,” said Lo­bo who ad­ded that De­fen­dant Antho­ny C has al­so chan­ged his sta­te­ment. Antho­ny C had in­cri­mi­na­ted Me­ri­ba du­ring the ju­di­ci­al pre­li­mi­na­ry in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on but at the tri­al he re­trac­ted his sta­te­ment. Lo­bo ex­plai­ned that the sta­te­ments of Er­rol S and Antho­ny C can’t be used. He poin­ted out that both sus­pects are wor­king to­gether and that they both want to in­cri­mi­na­te Me­ri­ba. He re­fe­red out that the Pu­blic Pro­se­cu­tor’s Of­fi­ce must ma­ke su­re that mo­bi­le pho­nes do not end up in pri­son be­cau­se then the in­ma­tes could com­mu­ni­ca­te with each other. Pick poin­ted out that the­re is not en­ough evi­den­ce to proof that Me­ri­ba was in­vol­ved. Dis­trict At­tor­ney Duncan Nan­hoe poin­ted out that Antho­ny C had gi­ven a sta­te­ment with clear de­tails re­gar­ding the in­vol­ve­ment of Me­ri­ba. He poin­ted out that de­fen­se at­tor­neys al­so com­mu­ni­ca­te with their clients via mo­bi­le pho­nes that are smug­gled in­si­de the pri­son sy­s­tem. Me­ri­ba quo­t­ed that he is wil­ling to re­port to his pro­ba­ti­on of­fi­cer eve­ry day if he is re­lea­sed tem­po­ra­ri­ly. He ma­de it clear that he does not ha­ve the need to ob­scu­re evi­den­ce. He is al­so wil­ling to sur­ren­der his pas­sport. “I sur­ren­de­red to the po­li­ce vo­lun­ta­ri­ly and that is why I will not flee if I am re­lea­sed.” The ju­d­ge will re­por­ted­ly an­noun­ce a de­ci­si­on re­gar­ding the de­fen­se at­tor­neys’ re­quest on De­cem­ber 16.

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