State Prosecutor Stacy Goodings in talks with relatives of Narindatt on Monday
Lawyers for Marcus Bisram are contending that State Prosecutor Stacy Goodings who is representing the famiily of Faiyaz Narinedatt in the Marcus Bisram case is in contempt of court. The claims are being made after Ms. Goodings on two occasions following a court instruction to have statements in the matter provided to the Defense Lawyers, was honored in the breach.
On December 02, 2019 Magistrate Moore ordered Goodings to make copies of the statements in the matter available to the Defense Lawyers on the next court appearance which would have been December 09, 2019. However on that day, the Magistrate reported sick for duty and Goodings was a no show when the matter was called before Magistrate Peter Hugh in the New Amsterdam Magistrates Court.
“Ms Goodings came with an agenda. On the very first occasion she, you were all present in court; she wanted three weeks to photocopy documents, all so that Mr. Bisram sits in prison all the time. Then on the last occasion that we were in New Amsterdam, she did not do the courtesy of turning up. All the attempts by the court, the orderly, including myself to contact Ms. Goodings there was of course no way to contact her but she sent one clear instruction she sent to the court which was clear and that was; adjourn the matter until the 7th January. Magistrate Peter Hugh had refused to do that because he said he had no reason as to why that adjournment was required. But why are we adjourning matters for three weeks?” Defence Lawyer Sanjeev Datadin told the media on Monday afternoon.
When the matter was called before Magistrate Moore yesterday Monday, December 16, 2019 the court was informed first by Ms. Goodings that she did not provide the statements in the matter because she was instructed by the Director of Public Prosecution that he, Magistrate Alex Moore should recuse himself from hearing the Marcus Bisram matter. BREAKING: No Moore in Bisram case as Chancellor axes magistrate; Defense cites dangerous development
Magistrate Moore then confirmed that he was indeed in receipt of a letter from the chancellor which had attached, a letter the DPP sent to her expressing concerns about his handling of the matter. The magistrate also indicated that he was also in receipt of a document which appeared to be a petition from the relatives of the deceased Faiyaz Narinedatt relatives asking that the Magistrate be removed from the case. BISRAM CASE ATTRACTS BACCHANAL/ CONFUSION: Magistrate’s removal, magistrate shopping, confidence and no confidence all take centre stage
With those developments, Ms. Goodings informed the court that she did not follow the order of the court as she was awaiting furhter instructions from the DPP given the need for the magistrate to recuse himself.
Attorney at Law Dexter Todd frowned on that response by Goodings while he addressed the press on Monday afternoon following the adjournment of the case.
“There is no part in the world a Director of Public Prosecution can overstep and say to the court I will not obey the order of the court, what the prosecutrix did today [Monday] is clear, a contempt of court and that excuse of not acting on the court’s order because she is awaiting for the instructions from the Director of Public Prosecution is utter nonsense” Dexter Todd told the press.
Todd explained that the development of the prosecution refusing to obey an order of court will not be allowed to just be swept under the carpet and that the defence would be raising the issue of the contempt with the Chief Magistrate on January 13, 2020 when the matter is called again.
Before recusing himself from the matter Monday on the instructions of the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Magistrate Moore adjourned the case to the Chief Magistrate’s Court 1 in Georgetown where it is expected a reassignemnt will take place.
The Director of Public Prosecution in her letter to the Chancellor asked that the matter be reassigned to a magistrate within the Corentyne Magisterial District. While the defence has stated that they have no issues with which magistrate hears the matter, they have regarded as magistrate shopping; several delay tactics which have been employed by the prosecution since the commencement of Bisram’s matter after his return to Guyana. They are arguing that their only concern is ensuring that their client receives a speedy trial. State appears ill-prepared to prosecute Bisram: DPP Rep attempts several delay maneuvers in court
Attorney at Law Dexter Todd told the media yesterday that the Magistrate could not enforce his own order with respect to the contempt of court against Ms. Stacy Goodings because he has been ordered to recuse himself from the matter.
“Think about it, if that is allowed to happen it means that prosecutors can turn up before the court and no obey the orders of the court and if the prosecutors can do it what is so different that will allow the defence not to do it; and if we allow this type of chaos to continue where defence say I don’t need to follow the order of the court and the prosecution thinks that they don’t need to follow the order of the court, then what is going to happen? What then would be the purpose of the court?” Todd questioned.
Marcus Bisram returned to Guyana in November following a court order for him to be extridated to Guyana to face the capital offence. Since his return and his appearances in court, there have been very little movement in case going forward with several apparent delays. Magistrate Alex Moore is now recorded as the second Magistrate to be removed from the Marcus Bisram matter.
Last week Public Security Minister Ramjattan wrapped the DPP Chanmbers for their handling of the matter and said that it was very embarassing that they are not prepared to go ahead with the prosecution of Bisram. AN UNPREPARED PROSECUTION: ‘That is very embarrassing’-Ramjattan, vows to engage DPP, Chief Justice, Chancellor on Bisram matter