Judge gives police extra time to hold detainee in murder of WPC

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 07:30

Homicide detectives have until Monday to charge or release the first suspect they held in connection with the murder of WPC Nyasha Joseph.

High Court Judge Nadia Kangaloo gave the order yesterday, after hearing a habeas corpus application challenging the detention of the 36-year-old Sea Lots resident over the past week.

Acting Supt Suzette Martin, who is leading the investigation, told the court the police required three more days to complete their investigations because they were awaiting the results of Joseph’s autopsy, which was performed at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday morning.

Martin said investigators also still have to interview three people of interest who were detained after Joseph’s body was recovered from the Gulf of Paria near the mouth of the Caroni River on Wednesday.

While Kangaloo accepted that the police needed more time to complete their investigations and approach the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice, she took issue with the fact that the suspect was being held at the Homicide Bureau’s office at Riverside Plaza, Portof- Spain, since last Friday.

His lawyer, Criston J Williams, submitted that housing his client at the office was improper as there were no holding cells there.

Martin claimed it was the suspect who asked to be held at the office and provided a set of photographs of the area where he was being held.

“I am not at all satisfied with him being able to choose to remain there.

It is not for an accused to determine the place of detention but for the police to do the right thing,” Kangaloo said.

After holding private discussions in her chambers with the suspect’s attorneys and those for the State, Kangaloo said the suspect will be allowed to remain detained at the office.

The suspect was taken to court yesterday by half a dozen police officers. Dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans, he sat silently in court during the hearing. He was also represented by Shirvani Ramkisson and Kirby Joseph.

Kangaloo scheduled a hearing for Monday to get an update from police.

SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Derek Achong)