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Defence objects to statements

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

THE DEFENCE team representing six police officers charged with murder yesterday objected to statements from State witnesses being submitted as evidence.

Defence attorney Ulric Skerritt challenged portions of the statements given by Renzy Ramsumair and Leeladeo Surujbally.

He said the statements had hearsay evidence.

But senior counsel Gilbert Peterson told the court that last week he received written arguments from the defence lawyer and disagreed with one or two of the arguments.

He said the statements were exceptions to the hearsay rule and the evidence was admissible.

Princes Town Senior Magistrate Debra Quintyne agreed and over-ruled the defence's objection.

The statements were tendered into evidence.

A paragraph from the statement of another State witness, Andriel Richards, was removed after Peterson agreed there was some hearsay evidence.

The rest of the document was tendered into evidence.

Skerritt made no objection to the statement of Mandissa Joseph being tendered into evidence.

Skerritt, senior counsel Israel Khan and attorney Celeste St Louis form the defence team representing Sgt Khemraj Sahadeo and constables Renaldo Riviero, Glenn Singh, Roger Nicholas, Safraz Juman and Antonio Ramadin.

ACP Raymond Craig charged the six with the murder of Abigail Johnson, Allana Duncan and Kerron "Fingers" Eccles at Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore on July 22, 2011.

Skerritt said the defence is yet to determine which State witnesses will be called for cross examination, following the filing of statements.

Peterson, who is appearing alongside Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard and attorney Elaine Green for the State, told the court the statements of four investigating officers are to be filed today.

The preliminary enquiry is expected to continue on March 7.

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