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Friday 15 December 2017
Crime and Court

Looking for Junior Grandison, sought to testify about lies

TO TESTIFY: Junior Grandison, is seen on the top right of Newsday’s front page back in 2011 when he admitted lying against ten men who were subsequently sentenced to hang for murder. Grandison is expected to return to court next week to testify in an appeal filed by the ten against their conviction.

Almost six years ago, Junior Grandison claimed he lied in the evidence he gave at the trial of ten men who were sentenced to hang for the murder of Dole Chadee’s brother Thackoor Boodram. He is expected to testify to this in the Court of Appeal next week Tuesday. But before Grandison can give his new evidence, he has to be found.

One of the attorneys for some of the ten men, who have convinced President Anthony Carmona to send their cases back to the appellate court, to consider Grandison’s subsequent declaration that he lied under oath, have asked for a subpoena to ensure he attends court. In 2015, three years after Grandison swore a statement saying he lied at the trial, President Carmona agreed to have the case remitted to the Court of Appeal to consider this new evidence of the prosecution’s then main witness.

Grandison swore in a declaration dated June 1, 2011, that evidence he gave at the trial, “was false and did not represent the truth.” He was the main witness in the trial of Michael “Rat” Maharaj, Samuel Maharaj, Damian “Tommy” Ramiah, Bobby Ramiah, Seenath “Farmer” Ramiah, Daniel “Fella” Gopaul, Richard Huggins, Leslie Huggins, Mark “Bico” Jaikaran and Junior “Heads” Phillips.

The ten were convicted on August 7, 2001, after a trial which lasted 33 days. They lost their appeals but escaped the hangman’s noose because of the delay in hearing their appeals at the London Privy Council. Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.

In his submissions to Justices of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Prakash Moosai and Rajendra Narine, Edward Fitzgerald, QC, who represents Damian Ramiah, urged the judges to accept Grandison’s sworn declaration contained in an affidavit given by attorney Gerald Ramdeen and audio recording of a conversation Grandison had in May of this year with Michael Maharaj, in which he repeated what was said in his 2011 statement.

In objection, special State prosecutor Travers Sinanan submitted the evidence of Grandison and the telephone conversation were not capable of belief and cannot be accepted at face value. He said Grandison must go into the witness box and give evidence and allow himself to be cross-examined. The court ordered that Grandison give his evidence when the matter resumes next Tuesday.

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