Buying your way out of jail in Guyana
Buying your way out of jail is a lesson to be learned from the top families in Guyana, Navin Prashad the son of then Minister Manniram Prashad high profile case disappeared from the courts, and more recently President Donald Ramotar son Alexei Ramotar ran down a man with his car and the police failed to even do anything about it, lead police in that accident apparently got a promotion, then Nanda Gopal from Office of the President accident.
Kuru Kururu fatal accident…Dead guard’s family accepts $2.5M settlement from accused
By Michael Jordan
Relatives of security guard, Ronville Roberts, have accepted a $2.5M settlement from truck driver Sahid Ali,
who is accused of causing Roberts’s death in an accident last Wednesday on the Soesdyke/Linden highway.
This disclosure was made yesterday when the 29-year-old accused appeared in the Providence Magistrates Court before Magistrate Leslie Sobers on charges of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to render assistance.
Ali’s attorney, Vic Puran, told Magistrate Sobers that his client had agreed to give Roberts’s family $2.5M. The court was also told that the accused had already made an initial payment of $200,000 to the dead guard’s family.
In the presence of the court, Ali then handed over a further $500,000 to the dead man’s reputed wife, Ingrid Schmidt. Puran also requested copies of the case dockets, which he would hand over to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Ali, who had been placed on remand and appeared in court in handcuffs, was then released on $100,000 bail. He is to return to court on March 22.
While the security guard’s relatives have indicated that they are unwilling to pursue the matter concerning his death, the DPP has the final say in deciding whether the charges against the accused will be dropped.
Speaking to Kaieteur News after leaving the court, attorney-at-law Puran said that he will appeal to the DPP to have the charges dropped.
“I will now have to write to the DPP requesting that she nolle prosequi (bring it to an end) because of the view that my client is prepared to compensate, so that is a factor for her to take into consideration.
“But she could decide that she is proceeding, notwithstanding compensation.
“What has been settled is the civil matter…If the aggrieved persons are disposed to settle the matter, it is up to the DPP to decide whether she agrees to settle or not.“
At the suggestion that $2.5M was a relatively paltry sum, and could not give the victims a house, Puran argued that $2.5M “could build a 30×20 three-bedroom concrete house with a toilet and bathroom.”
The victim, 58-year-old Ronville Roberts, is survived by eight children. The youngest is said to be about 11 years old.
But Puran said that neither he nor any other attorney was involved in arranging the financial transaction. Rather, this was done by the accused and the victim’s family. However, Puran said he informed the court of the financial compensation in an effort to be “full and frank.”
The prosecution has alleged that security guard Ronville Roberts, of Kuru Kururu, was cycling along the Soesdyke/Linden highway near his home at around 08:15 hrs last Friday when Sahid Ali, who was driving motor lorry GLL 319, reversed and crushed him.
The prosecution also alleged that the 29-year-old accused drove off, leaving the injured man on the roadway. He reportedly abandoned the truck about four miles from the scene.
Sahid Ali was subsequently identified and charged with causing death by dangerous driving and failing to render assistance. He first appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates Court last Friday.
But attorney-at-law Vic Puran denied that his client had fled from the scene of the accident. According to Puran, Ali had driven away because he was unaware of the accident.
Puran also denied that his client had abandoned his vehicle, and said Ali had gone to buy something to eat. The attorney also argued that it is difficult for a cyclist on the move to collide with a reversing vehicle unless the person sought to commit suicide.
The attorney added that a passenger riding with Ali had told police that at the time of the alleged incident, he was instructing the driver to reverse, and during such time the truck had not been involved in any accidents.
Puran said the police arrested Ali because they noticed blue paint on the bottom of the truck, which appeared to be similar to the blue paint on Robert’s bicycle.
The prosecutor subsequently rebutted Puran’s claim and said that the truck had been identified by eyewitnesses. The prosecution had objected to granting Ali bail.
Suggesting that his client is still not out of the woods, Puran referred to similar cases where the DPP had refused to drop charges even after financial settlements were made.
He cited an August 2009 case in which a client of his was charged with causing the death of two small children, aged 12 and seven, near Tuschen East Bank Essequibo.
Puran explained that although his client, compensated the children’s relatives, the DPP ordered that the criminal proceedings should continue. The accused, Mahendranauth Singh, was eventually freed of the charges.
Kaieteur News had reported in 2010 of several cases in which drivers in causing death matters had their cases dropped after paying various sums to the families of victims.
The ‘compensation packages’ ranged from $5M for the death of the young mother, $600,000 for the death of an eight-year-old girl, and $300,000 for a seven-year-old girl killed on a pedestrian crossing.