Man accused of killing relative in self-defence walks free after five years behind bars

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After being behind bars for almost five years on a charge of murder, Shafeek Mohammed, was freed by the High Court on Monday after Justice Navindra Singh upheld a No-case submission made by his attorney Latchmie Rahamat.

Mohammed was on trial at the Georgetown High Court for the murder of 33-year-old Ramkarran Mohanlall, a relative, on February 3, 2016, at Marshall Street, Annandale South, East Coast Demerara.

According to reports, on the day in question, Mohanlall was involved in an argument his with his wife’s brother-in-law Mohammed. During the altercation, Mohamed was stabbed to his chest, groin, neck and right arm.  He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The state was represented by prosecutor Teriq Mohammed.

After the State closed their case, attorney Rahamat submitted that the defence has no case to answer since the prosecution failed to disapprove the case of the defence that Mohammed acted in self-defence. Rahamat concluded that case of self-defense was proven based on several testimonies from witnesses.

Ramkarran Mohanlall

Several witnesses testified, claiming that there was a fight between the two men but Mohammed managed to free himself and walked away.  While walking away, Mohanlall ran behind Mohammed and threw him onto the ground, and another fight ensued, the witnesses testified.

A witness testified seeing Mohanlall sitting on top Mohammed pinning him down to the ground and punching him.

Justice Singh agreed to the case of self defense and said, “the facts in the case, in my view, shows that the accused was in a position for which he could have concluded that he had no means of escape at that stage and violence was continuing to be vested upon him”.

The Judge further stressed that it is the Court view that at that stage any degree of force used by Mohammed to get out and defend himself would be lawful.

Justice Singh thus directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.

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