Accused in 2009 murder called to lead defence …after no-case submission overruled

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MURDER accused Rudolph Williams, 31, who allegedly murdered 20-year-old Naomi Singh in May, 2009, had a no-case submission on his behalf overruled by Justice Brassington Reynolds at the Demerara Assizes yesterday.

At the close of the prosecution’s case yesterday, defence counsel, Mr. George Thomas elected to make a no-case submission on behalf of his client.
He submitted that the prosecution had failed to make out a case against his client and requested that the submissions be heard in the absence of the jury.
A voir dire (a trial within a trial) was held with the judge presiding.
After finding that the prosecution had achieved the threshold of sufficiency by establishing a prima facie case, the judge overruled the defence no-case submission and called upon the accused to lead a defence to the charge of murder.
At the beginning of the trial, the accused had pleaded not guilty and pointed out that a confession statement by him was given to the police because of violence and threats of violence against him.
At the end of the voir dire the judge overruled the no-case submission and called on the accused to face a charge of murder.
In his defence he gave an unsworn statement from the witness box, as he is entitled to by law, and no one could question him.
He said that on the day in question, the father of the girl, Mohan Singh told him that the girl was missing and enquired from him about her whereabouts.
Williams said he joined the search party and according to him while all this was going on, he was held and beaten by the police who accused him of the girl’s murder.
Among other things, he said that the police placed a black bag over his head and beat him with a truck spring under his feet. He also said that he was threatened with a revolver and on one occasion when he raised his hand to bar a bow, the weapon cut him on his finger.
He said that because of violence and threats of violence he became fearful and told them that he had killed the girl and threw her body into a pond.
This story which formed part of his confession statement to the police became part of his defence yesterday.
Defence counsel, Thomas told the court that he would not be calling any witness for the defence but will be ready to begin his address to the jury this morning.
He will be followed by senior prosecuting counsel, Miss Natasha Backer who in association with Miss Dhanika Singh is conducting the case for the prosecution.
Justice Reynolds told the mixed jury of six women and six men that he would sum up the evidence to them on Monday morning.
Thereafter he would hand over the case to them for their consideration and verdict.