‘Crapo’ murder trial opens at Demerara Assizes

By George Barclay
THE trial of Hamid Latiff called “Crapo” for the murder of Mulchand Murilall in 2013 began on Wednesday at the Demerara Assizes before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a mixed jury.
State counsel Shonette Austin is prosecuting, while Bernard De Santos, SC, is defending.
In her opening address to the jury, Austin urged jurors to bear in mind that the prosecution has to prove the following elements or ingredients of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to her, those elements are: that Mulchand Murilall died as a result of the injuries received; that Mulchand Murilall died within a year and a day of receiving the injuries; that this accused caused the death of Mulchand Murilall; that at the time he intended to kill him or to cause him grievous bodily harm; and that the death was not an accident, it was not done in self-defence, nor was there any provocation.
The prosecutrix went on to tell the jury that the ingredients will be proved by the evidence of the nine witnesses the prosecution intends to call.
State counsel said that the witness would tell them a story that the accused Hamid Latiff called “Crapo” was the ex-brother-in-law of the deceased Mulchand.
Hamid lived with Mulchand’s sister Bhagmattie, but over time the relationship soured.
Narrating the facts, Austin went on to tell the jury that on Friday, November 8, 2013 at about 17: 00 hrs, an incident occurred between Bhagmattie and Hamid on the roadway and she made a report to the police at the Cane Grove Police Station.
At about 20:00hrs that same evening, the accused and Mulchand got into a confrontation and he threw Mulchand into a trench.
The accused was seen with a knife.
When Mulchand was taken out of the trench, his skin was covered with what appeared to be blood. The police were summoned to the scene but Mulchand died that night.
On November 9, 2013, the accused was arrested by the police at Number 78 Corriverton, Berbice. He was later charged for the offence and brought before the Court.
On November 11, 2013, a post-mortem examination was performed by Dr Nehaul Singh on the body of Mulchand Murilall at the Georgetown Hospital Mortuary.
The cause of death was stated as perforation of the heart and lung due to a stab wound. The pathologist Dr Singh, the prosecutrix pointed out, would explain all of the details to the jury.
The prosecutrix exhorted the jury to consider no other source but the sworn testimony of the witnesses.
The trial will continue.


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