Marcus Bisram tells CCJ that Appeal Court “erred in law” at arriving at judgment
Guyana-born U.S.-based businessman Marcus Bisram has moved to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), arguing that the Court of Appeal “erred in law” when it arrived at its May 31, 2021 judgment, committing him to stand trial for the 2016 murder of Berbice carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt.
In a Notice of Appeal, Bisram, through his Attorney-at-Law Arudranauth Gossai, argued that the Appeal Court erred in law when having found that the procedure set out in section 72 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act Cap 10.01 was not followed by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Gossai further argued that the Appeal Court blundered when it concluded there was sufficient evidence against Bisram and that the credibility of a single witness was still a matter for the jury, where the evidence of that witness was the only evidence against the Appellant and that the witness had recanted his testimony and admitted that his evidence was not true.
Among other things, the attorney contended that the Court of Appeal misjudged when it held that the DPP, in directing a Magistrate to commit an accused person under section 72(2) of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act Cap 10.01 was not an act in breach of the Constitutional separation of powers doctrine and specifically Article 122 A of the Constitution and that further, it was not an act constituting an improper interference with the independence of the judiciary.
“The Court of Appeal erred in failing to recognise that as a court in judicial review proceedings, it was duty-bound to assess and determine whether the learned Magistrate’s decision and equally the decision of the Learned High Court Judge was respectively reasonable and rational when Her Worship and the Learned Trial Judge ruled that the evidence against the Appellant was insufficient to commit him to stand trial,” Gossai said in his Notice of Appeal.
Despite the above, Gossai is seeking an order reversing or setting aside the order and judgment of the Appeal Court, which was made on May 31, 2021.
Alternatively, Gossai is seeking an order or declaration that section 72 of Chapter 10:01 has been repealed by Act no. 6 of 2001, which enacted Article 122 A (1) of the Constitution of Guyana. Besides, the attorney is asking for an order that there be costs awarded to Bisram.
On May 31, 2021, Chancellor (ag) of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards delivered a unanimous decision committing Marcus to stand trial in the High Court.
Bisram was freed on March 30, 2020, after Magistrate Renita Singh at the Whim Magistrate’s Court found that the State did not have sufficient evidence against him.
However, just hours later, Bisram was re-arrested as the DPP ordered the magistrate to re-open the case on the grounds that there is enough evidence for him to stand a High Court trial.
As a result, Bisram’s lawyers moved to the High Court to challenge the DPP’s instruction. He was subsequently freed by Justice Morris-Ramlall.
It was alleged that between 31 October 2016 and 1 November 2016, Bisram coerced, procured, and commanded five persons to murder Narinedatt. The five were charged with the carpenter’s murder and remain on remand.