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Case against cops accused of robbery adjourned
Though the prosecution was ready to proceed, Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan was yesterday forced to again adjourn the matter involving four police officers accused of pocketing stolen casino money in 2009. The preliminary inquiry, which started since October 2011, was set to continue yesterday at the San Fernando First Magistrate’s Court.
The officers—Cpl Deopersad Jankienanan, Cpl Kishan Harrysingh, PC Anslem Drakes and PC Regan Ramnanan—are facing charges of misbehaviour in public office. They allegedly failed, without reasonable cause or excuse, to hand over to the investigator of a robbery on August 21, 2009 at Club Avenue, Duncan Village, San Fernando, an undetermined sum of money which was part of money stolen and recovered.
Harrysingh, Drakes and Jankienanan are facing charges of misbehaviour in public office by stealing an undetermined sum of cash from the casino. Jankienanan also faces, together with Ramnanan, an additional charge of beating prisoner Mark Austin while he was in police custody.
When the matter was called yesterday, however, attorneys Chateram Sinanan, Vernon De Lima SC and Jagdeo Singh said they were unwilling to proceed because a witness, PC Nanan, had failed to show up in court. State prosecurtor Sarah De Silva said Nanan was on injury leave and could not attend court.
However, she indicated that complainant Sgt Thomas was ready to be cross-examined by the defence lawyers. Sinanan, who represented Harrysingh, said there were certain issues which needed to be addressed in Nanan’s statement, before any further crosss-examination could be done.
He said: “There is a possibility that other witnesses will change their testimony if Nanan was not cross-examined first.” Rambachan, however, said he was not bound in any way to allow cross-examination to be done in any particular order. Rambachan adjourned the matter to July 24.
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