KAREEM “DARKO” STANISCLAUS, 27, faced a Couva magistrate yesterday charged with five counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and six counts of robbery with violence — all in connection with the recent fatal attack on a group of fishermen at sea.
Stanisclaus, who lives at Production Avenue in Sea Lots, Port of Spain, stood before Couva magistrate Christine Charles shortly before 3 pm yesterday when she read the charges.
It is alleged that he, together with other people, murdered Anand “Beula” Rampersad, 39, Shiva “Arie” Ramdeo, 27, Hemraj “Alex” Sooknanan, 19, Brandon “Curry” Kissoon,21, and Leslie “Shortman” De Boulet, 61.
Legal officer PC Kyrn Lewis of Homicide Bureau Region III submitted a file to the Office of the Director of Prosecution (DPP) a few days ago. Late Thursday, deputy DPP Joan Honore-Paul gave police instructions to formally charge him with the offences. Cpl Sunil Ramoutar laid the charges.
Sgt Inshan Teeluck and PC Augustus, of Central Division, also charged Stanisclaus with attempting to murder Brian Seemungal and Robbie Jaggernauth. The officers also charged him charged with six counts of robbery with violence. The offences are alleged to have taken place in the Gulf of Paria on unknown dates from July 22 to July 30 between Facility River in Chaguanas and Carli Bay.
There was no one in the court’s public gallery during the hearing.
Attorney Celeste St Louis represented Stanisclaus, and told the court she was holding for attorney Richard Clarke-Wills.
The magistrate remanded him into police custody and adjourned the case to August 28.
Armed pirates beat the fishermen, threw them overboard and stole four boats, six engines, cellphones and fuel in containers. The five murder victims went missing and their bodies later resurfaced, but two friends are still missing.
Up to last evening, the search continued for Kissoon’s cousin, Justin Kissoon, 19, and Jason Baptiste, 30, also called Trevor and Jewel.
On July 23, just hours after the attack, IATF police arrested Stanisclaus, Shaquille Roberts, 25, who also lives at Sea Lots, and two women— Iyola John, 18, and Mya Bowrin, 19.
All four are jointly charged with the six counts of robbery with violence.
The two accused women first appeared before Charles on Wednesday jointly charged with Stanisclaus and Roberts, both of whom were still in police custody.
Charles granted John, who lives at Ste Madeleine, $100,000 bail to cover the six charges and remanded Bowrin to reappear yesterday for confirmation of her address.
When she reappeared midmorning, the court confirmed that she has been living in a rental apartment at Union Road, Norman Junction in Gasparillo with her mother for the past few months.
Bowrin previously lived at Corinth Hill and worked at C3 Centre.
The magistrate also granted Bowrin $100,000 bail on the condition she continues to live with her mother. Bowrin must also inform the police or a clerk of the peace of any change of address.
Sgt Lincoln Bonnett prosecuted and attorney Seana Baboolal represented Bowrin.
Roberts made his first court appearance yesterday but was denied bail for verification of his criminal records tracing. He is to reappear on Tuesday.
The three others are to reappear on August 28.