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Anand Beharrylal successfully defends in capital murder in Trinidad
Anand Beharrylal was instructed by local attorney Nicola Panday to defend in the case of the State v Micayeel Mohammed in Trinidad. The State alleged that Mohammed murdered Sylvan Lochan in an unprovoked attack at his home in South Trinidad in August 2004. As a result upon being charged with murder (a non-bailable offence because of the death penalty), Mohammed was remanded in custody pretrial for 6 years.
Anand was instructed to take on this case earlier this year and caused a Motion to Quash the Indictment to be lodged on Mohammed's behalf. Anand argued that the Motion to Quash (albeit rarely used) was the appropriate procedure to be followed on the basis that the depositions failed to disclose a prima facie case of murder against Mohammed as principal. The State opposed the Motion and contended the opposite, but then adopted the position that their case was one joint enterprise. They also purported to rely on the "felony murder rule", which still applies in Trinidad.
In response Anand argued that for 6 years the States' case was one of Mohammed acting alone and that to now alter their position was potentially an abuse of process. However, Anand also argued that even if the States' case was one of joint enterprise with Mohammed being a secondary party, there was simply no evidence that he participated or encouraged the offence to be committed.
After considering both oral and written submissions from both sides the Honourable Mr Justice Persad agreed that there was insufficient evidence and quashed the indictment. Mohammed was released following this judgement from the cells at the High Court Assizes in San Fernando, South Trinidad on 28th September 2010.
Anand often undertakes advisory and advocacy work in Trinidad and Tobago and other territories in the Caribbean, in both criminal and civil cases. Anand is frequently instructed on his own where the opposing side has retained both silk and junior.
30 September 2010
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