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State seeks to tender unsworn statement
The State is seeking to tender an unsworn statement from a witness in the double murder of a prominent business couple. State attorney Trevor Jones began making the application before deputy chief magistrate Mark Wellington when paper committal proceedings into the 2002 murders of millionaires Mahase and Darling Rampersad continued yesterday. Mahase’s nephew Krishna Rampersad, 39, is jointly charged with his former wife Hilda Donna Bullock, 29, with the murders.
Jones’ application was made under 15C (1) (F) of the Evidence Act. He said the defence was given full notice of the application. In making the application to admit the unsworn statement of Davie Hosein, he said the court has the authority to do so, but the prosecution must satisfy two criteria:
• That the witness is fearful
• That no reasonable steps can be taken to protect the witness
In satisfying the first criterion, Jones sought to tender statements of two witness support officers. To support the application, Jones also called police complainant Cpl Terry Tambie, who recorded the statement of Hosein, to give evidence. In addition to the application, the prosecution also tendered the post-mortem reports of Mahase and Darling Rampersad who were kidnapped in front of their Palmiste home on August 3, 2002.
The couple’s decomposing bodies were found on August 7, 2002 in a canefield at La Fortune, Woodland. They had been shot in the back of the head and their skulls crushed. Rampersad, a dairy farmer; and Bullock, of Rambert Village, San Fernando, were arrested and charged in February 2012. The matter is being heard in the San Fernando First Court.