Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Two found not guilty but back in custody


TWO men from Arima were yesterday found not guilty at the High Court in Port of Spain of shooting two other men to death in 2009.
But despite being acquitted of the capital charges and being allowed to walk out of the courtroom as free men to greet loved ones, their freedom was short-lived.
The former accused—Ricardo Boodoosingh and Kareem Walters—were soon taken back into prison custody since they were still facing other criminal charges for which bail had not previously been granted.
The verdicts were delivered yesterday evening by the foreman of a 12-member jury that had been listening to the evidence in the trial, which was being heard before Justice Hayden St Clair Douglas since early last month.
Boodoosingh and Walters, who were represented by defence attorneys Mario Merritt and Karunaa Bisramsingh, were accused of murdering Marlon Scipio and Christopher Joseph on February 6, 2009.
Scipio and Joseph were found dead by police in a car which was parked off Pinto Road in Arima.
Another man, Garnet Swan, was also found in the vehicle nursing gunshot wounds, but managed to survive the attack.
He was the State’s main witness in the trial, which was prosecuted by State attorney Hema Sundarsingh.
During the trial, Merritt challenged the credibility of Swan’s evidence, pointing out that he had initially told police investigators he never saw the faces of the men who carried out the attack.
However, during his testimony, Swan backtracked on this, saying that the men who did the shootings were in fact Boodoosingh and Walters and that he was able to clearly see their faces on the day in question.
After their clients were freed but subsequently taken back to prison, Merritt and Bisramsingh said they intended to make applications for bail at the High Court tomorrow on the other criminal charges, which, if granted would see Boodoosingh and Walters reunited with their families.