WITH river levels rising and a heightened flood alert which was at orange, Justice Malcolm Holdip took no chances and brought the trial of five men accused of murdering businessman Dr Eddie Khoury to an early end yesterday.
Just before noon, Holdip held discussions with attorneys in the case and told jurors the flood alert by the Met Office had moved from “yellow” to “orange,” with flooding already starting in some areas.
Yesterday was the beginning of the evidence portion of the trial and starting her testimony was Sgt Arlene Skerritt-Marshall, a police photographer who took numerous photographs of the Koury murder scene. Twenty-three photos were tendered into evidence, during her testimony, so far.
In dismissing them early, Holdip told jurors he wanted them to go and secure their homes as some may be living in flood-prone areas. He told them river levels in the east and the Caroni basin were already “dangerously high.”
“It is better to be cautious than to find yourself having to overnight by a friend,” Holdip advised. “It has been raining in the east all night and although it is not at the volume as the recent event, the earth is already saturated.”
The five on trial are: Shawn James, Caleb Donaldson, Jerome Murray, Terry Moore and Robert Franklyn. They are accused of killing Khoury in September 2005.
Khoury, the managing director of ISKO Enterprises, an import and distribution company based in the Macoya industrial estate, was abducted from his office on September 21 that year. Two days later, his headless corpse was found in central Trinidad. His head has never been found.
The men are being represented by Pamela Elder, SC, Evans Welch, Wayne Sturge, Daniel Khan and Fareed Ali.
During her testimony, Skerritt-Marshall said she took photographs of shoe prints, blood, a fingerprint on a door and a cash pan at ISKO. She returns to complete her evidence on Monday, when the trial resumes. Prosecutors are Nigel Pilgrim and Anju Bhola