DPP to appeal judge’s decision to free fmr. El Dorado Trading manager of murder
After being behind bars for eight years on a charge of murder, former General Manager of El Dorado Trading, Neville Chandrawattie, was freed by the High Court on Wednesday after Justice Jo-Ann Barlow upheld a no-case submission made by his attorney, Siand Dhurjon.
Chandrawattie also known as ‘Sunil’, formerly of Sparta, Essequibo Coast was on trial for the April 21, 2007 murder of gold dealer Dharamchan Mangra which occurred at Port Kaituma in the North West District.
On Wednesday when State Prosecutor Lisa Cave closed her case, Dhurjon submitted that the defence has no case to answer since the prosecution failed to lead key evidence.
Justice Barlow upheld the no-case submission and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty. In response, Cave told the court that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will appeal the decision.
Chandrawattie and others allegedly planned an armed attack on the El Dorado Trading Company in Port Kaituma on November 8, 2013, and stole 96 ounces of gold valued at $22M and $71M in cash, all the property of Tamesh Jagmohan. During the staged robbery, Chandrawattie was tied up.
It is alleged that during the investigation into that crime, Chandrawattie was questioned and reportedly admitted that he had planned the robbery, including the one which occurred on April 21, 2007, during which Mangra was shot in the chest and $3M and a quantity of gold was stolen.
He was arrested and charged for the 2007 murder along with the 2013 armed robbery.
In 2015, Chandrawattie was granted $1.575M bail at the Matthew’s Ridge Magistrate’s Court after the matter was transferred there for hearing but as a result of the intervention of senior judicial officials, the decision was revoked and he was further remanded.
In 2016, Chandrawattie pleaded guilty to committing the 2013 robbery and was sentenced to serve five years imprisonment.