Case involving four Guyanese to go before regional court
Four Guyanese nationals who were appealing their 2009 conviction in the Court of Appeal have been told to take their case to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The four were found guilty of possession, importation and trafficking of 91.3 kilogrammes of cannabis and 119.4 kilogrammes of cocaine back in 2005.
They are Rohan Shastri Rambarran, Gavin Wayne Greene, Lemme Michael Campbell and the lone female in the group, Somwattie Persaud.
Originally, the quartet went before High Court judge Kaye Goodridge, who had imposed sentences ranging from 15 to 30 years.
The matter was then referred to the Court of Appeal.
However, the Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock had raised objection on the grounds that the appeals were filed too late.
Last month, the Court of Appeal accepted the DPP’s submissions. However, the court granted leave for Persaud to apply for an extension of time to appeal her sentence.
When the case came up before the Court of Appeal last week, Counsel for Rambarran, Dr Richard Cheltenham, in association with Shelly-Ann Seecheran, attempted to argue that their client should be granted an extension of time. However, in his presentation on behalf of the Crown, the DPP, who acted in association with Principal Crown Counsel Lancelot Applewaithe, contended that the application by Sir Richard for an extension of time could be categorized as improper, unreasonable and negligent and invited the court to make an application for a wasted cost order.
The DPP also submitted that the court should entertain a similar submission made by attorney-at-law Marlon Gordon, who along with Safiya Moore is representing Greene and Persaud, since the court was now functus (no longer having jurisdiction over the matter).
Attorney Arthur Holder and Kendrid Sargeant represented Lemme Campbell. They informed the court that on March 12th, an application was filed on their client’s behalf before the CCJ.
In the end, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Justices Sherman Moore and Sandra Mason, who made up the appeal panel, determined that they did not have the right to hear the matter and the attorneys would therefore have to take their case to the CCJ.
Counsel for Green, Persaud and Rambarran are now in the process of applying to the Trinidad-based court.