Source Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY – Not four, but five youngsters sat in the upstairs courtroom yesterday morning, only to hear that their trial will be handled on September 6. The five young men are charges with a home robbery, a robbery a Chinese supermarket and a robbery at the Chinese restaurant.
During the first court hearing in May, there were only four defendants: Delangio Rakeem W. (20), Ashmore Deandre H. (18), Janry St. V. (19) and Brian B. (19). Yesterday a fifth suspect joined them, Andrew Ashley G. (17).
One robbery took place on December 7 of last year on the Acacia Road whereby the robbers attacked the resident with a firearm. They hit him on his head, kicked him, boxed him and made him sit down on a chair where they tied him up with a belt and electrical wire. In that position, they forced the resident to tell them where his safe was and his money. The robbers are charged with committing an armed robbery with the use of violence, with unlawfully robbing the resident of his freedom and with firearm possession.
The injured party has filed a claim for material damages of $21,623 and of $3,000 for immaterial damages. The public prosecutor wants to seize $2,334 from each of the defendants in an effort to take their illegally gained profits away.
But the court did not get around to handling the case yesterday. The main reason is that the attorneys for the defendants were on strike during the first court hearing in May.
Attorney Safira Ibrahim told the court that “there is much more going on than I initially thought” and she asked the court for video footage, not only from the crime scenes but also from the arrest of her clients.
She said that her clients had been ‘disproportionally” arrested. “The police shot at them while they were sitting in a car and they were hit.” Another client was hit and kicked while he was already handcuffed, Ibrahim said. “The arrests are unlawful.”
Attorney Sjamira Roseburg also asked for video footage. She also wants to interrogate the mother of one of her clients about the way she claims to have recognized her son on video.
The public prosecutor said that there is little chance to find video footage from the arrests from public surveillance cameras months after the fact. She noted that the National Detective Agency is investigating the use of firearms during the arrest.
The court took twenty minutes to ponder all requests. In the end, the court ruled that the defense is entitled to all video footage and that the mother of one of the defendants has to be interviewed at the judge of instruction. The court referred the case for handling to September 6, at 9 a.m.