A POLICE officer accused of murdering three people in July 2011, was granted leave by a high court judge to challenge the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) failure to file an indictment against him so that his case can go to trial. Safraz Juman is one of six police officers committed to stand trial for the murder of Alana Duncan, Kerron Eccles and Abigail Johnson.
Duncan, 27, of Duncan Village, San Fernando; Eccles, 29, of Moruga Main Road, Moruga; and Johnson, 20, of Burton Trace, Moruga, were shot dead around 9 pm on July 22, 2011. The killings sparked fiery protests and after three months of investigations, six police officers were charged.
Juman, in his judicial-review claim, wants the court to declare the DPP’s failure to file an indictment or dismiss the case against him as an abuse of power and have the DPP either file the indictment or have the murder charge dismissed. Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh granted him leave.
According to Juman, who is represented by Senior Counsel Israel Khan and Ulric Skerritt, he was committed to stand trial for the murders on July 15, 2013. He said his father had been making enquiries at the Princes Town Magistrates Court and was told the depositions in the case were sent to the Office of the DPP (South) in September 2015.
Juman also said the DPP’s office in San Fernando told his father it had received the depositions, which were collected by DPP Roger Gaspard, SC. He said that on September 7 last year, his lawyer wrote to DPP Gaspard asking when an indictment was expected to be filed, since witnesses were either falling sick or migrating.
“It has now been more than six years since I was arrested and charged and nearing five years since I was committed to stand trial but I have not yet been indicted for my appearances to begin in the High Court to answer the said charges.” Juman and the other five police officers are also the subjects of a civil wrongful-death claim for compensation filed by the families of Duncan, Eccles and Johnson. The others charged are acting Sgt Khemraj Sahadeo and PCs Renaldo Reviero, Glenn Singh, Roger Nicholas, and Antonio Ramadin.