‘Shazim’ changes not guilty plea and now confesses to 2016 Bush Lot double murder

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One day after pleading not guilty to the 2016 Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice, double murder, Nazamadeen Rafeek called ‘Shazim’ on Tuesday confessed to the brutal crime.

Nazamadeen appeared before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Berbice High, Court where his trial was being conducted before a 12-member jury.

On Monday, he pleaded not guilty to the charge, which alleged that between January 8 and 9, 2016, he murdered businessman Arthur Rajkumar, 81, and his reputed wife Diane Chamanlall, 44, by chopping them to death.

However, when his trial continued on Tuesday, Rafeek opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. The indictment was read to him and he pleaded guilty.

State Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs told the court that during the period in question, Rafeek and others smoked ‘ganja’ before committing the heinous crime.

The gang broke into the couple’s house through a grill door; they ransacked the house and packed foodstuff and cigarettes whilst searching for money.

Initially, the bandits did not see anyone and had descended into an adjoining shop where they retrieved and drank stag beers.

Shortly afterwards, the couple exited their bedroom and confronted the bandits. They were chopped after demands for gold and money were not met. During the act, the police were alerted, but the bandits escaped.

Gibbs told the court that Rafeek dropped his hat at the crime scene, which police were able to identify and arrested him later that day.

According to Gibbs, Rafeek was covered in so much of the victims’ blood that trails of blood were found in his yard and inside of his home.

Police also found the clothes Rafeek allegedly wore to commit the crime submerged in a bucket of water.

Gibbs said the clothing tested positive for human blood.

During his address to the court, Rafeek disclosed that the mastermind of the crime was Rooplall Abrahim called ‘Vijay.’ He also admitted committing the crime with Madanpaul Gocoul called ‘Clown.’

Last year, Abrahim and Gocoul both pleaded guilty to manslaughter and are currently serving life imprisonment and a 25-year jail sentence, respectively.

Rafeek said that he did not inflict injuries onto Chamanlall during the robbery. “Meh ain’t do duh person anything…Only one lash meh give Mr Arthur,” Rafeek told the Judge.

The Judge deferred sentencing until November 24, and ordered that a probation report be done on the convict. Rafeek is represented by attorney Mursaline Bacchus.

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