CCJ orders release of Marcus Bisram until his appeal is determined

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The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Friday ordered that Guyanese-American businessman, Marcus Bisram, is released from prison until the hearing and determination of his appeal before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in relation to the murder charge brought against him by the State.

But Bisram will be unable to leave Guyana. The CCJ has ordered Bisram to surrender all of his passports to the Registrar of the Supreme Court on Monday 14th June before 12:00 hrs and must report every Monday morning to the Commander and Or Deputy Commander of Berbice until the determination of the appeal.

On May 31, the Court of Appeal granted an order filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC and overturned the orders granted by High Court Judge, Simone Morris-Ramlall.  The DPP had challenged the June 2020 decision of Justice Morris-Ramlall, who had ruled that the incarceration of Bisram was unlawful and ordered that he is released.

The orders granted by Justice Morris-Ramlall were for the quashing of the decision of the DPP in which it was directed that Magistrate Renita Singh re-open the preliminary inquiry into the charge against Bisram and committing him to stand trial at the High Court for the offence.

As a result, Bisram had to turn himself over to the police to stand trial for the 2016 murder of Berbice carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt.

Dissatisfied, Bisram’s team of attorneys, led by Darshan Ramdhanie, QC, moved to the CCJ to appeal the Appeal Court decision and for the immediate release of his client.

During a case management hearing on Friday, the CJJ granted leave to Bisram’s lawyers to file the appeal. The court also ordered that Bisram remains out of prison until the appeal is heard and determined. The DPP was ordered not to take any steps to arrest or detain Bisram.

During preliminary inquiry in 2020, Magistrate Singh had initially freed Bisram after she found that the evidence given by the star witness for the prosecution was “unreliable” under cross-examination.  However, the DPP ordered the magistrate to commit Bisram to the High Court to stand trial for the indictment.

Bisram was accused of orchestrating the murder of Narinedatt, a 27-year-old father of two, who was killed on November 01, 2016. Narinedatt’s body was found around 03:30 hours on Tuesday, November 01, 2016, on the Number 70 Public Road, Corentyne, Berbice. His death was initially reported to be the result of a hit-and-run accident.

It was later reported that Bisram allegedly made sexual advances towards Narinedatt, who objected. Bisram was initially charged in absentia, while five others – Orlando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Diodath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Niran Yacoob – were charged and later committed to stand trial for the man’s murder.

Bisram, who holds dual citizenship, was extradited from the United States of America on November 21, 2019. He was charged with murder hours after his extradition and placed on remand at the Camp Street Prison until he was freed.

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