Thursday, February 22, 2018

Warrant issued for Ghouralal’s re-arrest


Darwin Ghouralal

Mark Fraser

A JUDGE’S warrant has been issued for the re-arrest of police officer Darwin Ghouralal, who was acquitted months ago on the charge of murdering eight-year-old Daniel Guerra.

On the day Ghouralal was acquitted last September, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Joan Honore-Paul told Senior Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan the prosecution intended to apply for a judge’s warrant.

This can be done, in law, when the Director of Public Prosecutions believes there is enough evidence to take the matter before a judge. 

The DPP’s office wrote the Magistrates’ Court, requesting the copy of the deposition or notes of evidence recorded during the enquiry. This was forwarded to a judge, who reviewed it and issued a warrant for Ghouralal to be re-arrested.

When Ghouralal is held, he will be taken into custody to await a trial before a judge and jury.  Since an enquiry was held in the past, before the magistrates’ court, it will not have to be re-done.

Last September 18, Rambachan found there was insufficient evidence to take the matter before a jury and told Ghouralal he was discharged.

Ghouralal’s attorney, Senior Counsel Sophia Chote, who appeared along with attorney Michelle Solomon-Baksh, had presented a no-case submission that the State’s case was based on circumstantial evidence and therefore her client could not face the High Court.

In April 2011, Ghouralal, who had 15 years’ service as a police officer and last worked with the Robbery Squad of the Southern Division, made his first appearance before the court, charged with killing Guerra on a day unknown between February 17 and 21, 2011.

The child’s decomposing body was found near a river along Tarouba Link Road two days after he went missing.

The Standard Two pupil of Gasparillo Government Primary School was last seen standing near a track leading to his family’s Bedeau Street, Gasparillo, home. He was returning from a nearby parlour where he had purchased soft drinks.

The case proceeded by way of paper committal, where the State filed statements and the defence had the option of calling witnesses to give oral evidence.

A forensic scientist from England, a locally-based pathologist, several police officers and Guerra’s family all took the witness stand.

State attorneys Sarah de Silva and Chris Ramlal had appeared alongside Honore-Paul in the matter.