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|Bibi Gopaul, Jarvis Small to know fate today --PI in Neesa Gopaul murder case ends|
|Thursday, 09 August 2012 20:09|
AFTER a very lengthy preliminary inquiry, the two defendants accused in the 2010 brutal murder of Queen’s College student, Neesa Gopaul,16, will know their fate today (August 10).
The prosecution yesterday contended that enough evidence has been tendered for the two defendants to face trial by a High Court judge and jury.
Mother of the deceased, Bibi Sharima Gopaul, and her lover, Jarvis Small, were tried by acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.
Gopaul’s attorney, Senior Counsel Vic Puran, declared he would allow his client to lead witnesses in the High Court trial.
However, Small’s lawyer, Senior Counsel, Bernard Dos Santos, would have to appear in the Magistrate’s Court to obtain decision for his client.
Acting Chief Magistrate, Priya Sewnarine-Beharry yesterday allowed each defendant the option of making a sworn/unsworn statement concerning the matter, and each chose to make an unsworn statement.
Small declared to the court: "Your Worship, I am innocent of this offence. I did not kill Neesa Gopaul, nor had anything to do with her murder."
Bibi Gopaul simply stated, with the prompting of Mr. Puran, "I am innocent of this offence."
Jarvis Small declined to sign his statement, which was unsworn, but Gopaul willingly opted to sign hers.
Small was asked whether he had any witnesses whom he wished to call in his defence; and Attorney Puran, acting on behalf of Small’s attorney, Mr. De Santos, sought the magistrate’s approval for a change of date for the decision to be made. His submission was that Mr. De Santos was absent, and might not be au fait with his client's statement and preference.
Asked the same question pertaining to witnesses, Gopaul declined to call any witness.
Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry requested Attorney-at-law Puran to seek the whereabouts of Mr. De Santos, and he later informed the court that Mr. De Santos was in Bartica at the time. He then asked that the matter be adjourned until today.
This adjournment will apparently give De Santos an opportunity to give his comments on the case and the court's decision.
Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry granted this request, and the matter was adjourned.
Jarvis Small and Bibi Gopaul were charged with unlawfully killing the former Queen’s College (QC) student between September 24 and October 2, 2010.
Prosecuting the matter for the state was Ms Pretima Kissoon.
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