Weeks after former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Gary Best was freed on a charge which alleged that he caused the death of former national cyclist death, Jude Bentley by dangerous driving, his lawyers are now asking the court to dismiss a drunk driving charge against him.
In a submission of no case to answer laid over at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, Best’s lawyers, Nigel Hughes, Ronald Daniels and Sophia Findlay, are contending that the prosecution has failed to present sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the offence- driving under the influence (DUI).
The prosecution is expected to reply to the defense’s no-case submission on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, before the trial Magistrate.
On December 3, 2020, trial Magistrate Rondel Weever dismissed the causing death by dangerous driving charge against Best. Among other things, the Magistrate held that the prosecution failed to prove that Best was driving dangerously on the day in question.
It was alleged that on February 08, 2020, at Clive Lloyd Drive, East Coast Demerara, Best drove motor car PRR 812, in a manner dangerous to the public, causing the death of Bentley. At the time of the accident, Police had said that Best was under the influence of alcohol.
Reports are that Bentley, 41, was killed on the Rupert Craig Highway in the vicinity of the Russian Embassy in Georgetown, as he was heading east along the stretch of road. Reports are that Bentley was hit from behind and dragged several feet by the Land Cruiser which was being driven by Best.
Reacting to the court’s ruling, Best had told reporters that he was happy at the outcome of the matter. He said that he was relieved as it has now been proven that he did not cause the death of the former national cyclist and that he was not driving dangerously.
Days after the matter was dismissed, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Senior Counsel Shalimar Ali-Hack filed an appeal challenging the Magistrate’s decision. The Court of Appeal is yet to fix a date for hearing the case. Best is an Executive Member of the PNC/R and a former Presidential Advisor under the previous APNU/AFC Government.