Last Updated on Monday, 26 June 2017, 12:20 by Denis Chabrol
Racing car drivers, Stephen Vieria and Nazim Gafoor, who have been charged in connection with GYD$500 million cocaine-in-lumber bust, have been granted GYD$5 million bail each by the High Court.
Chief Justice, Roxanne George granted them bail last Friday, but they were not expected to be out of the Georgetown Prison until Monday after all the administrative procedures have been complied with.
They had been previously refused bail in the Lower Court, prompting their lawyers to make a bail application to the High Court.
“We have been maintaining from the very beginning that special reasons exist that they cannot prove that my client was in possession of any narcotics and they have nothing to prove that my client was in possession of ant narcotics,” Vieria’s defence lawyer, Latchmie Rahamat told Demerara Waves Online News.
Attorney-at-Law, Glen Hanoman, who is also familiar with the case, said reasons cited are that the trial would take a long time since the prosecution has secured 31 statements and that the duo is not a flight risk.
Vieria, Gafoor and the two other co-accused- Tazim Gafoor and Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Drug Enforcement agent Sherwayne De Abreu- are expected to return to court on July 13, 2017.
Hanoman said they have not been charged with the possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking, but aiding and abetting Hakim Mohammed.
The lawyer noted that Mohamed has not bee charged with any offence and, after keeping him in custody for three periods of 72 hours each, he gave a statement implicating the others. “The law says accomplices have very little weight because he can lie to save himself. His evidence is of negligible weight,” Hanoman told Demerara Waves Online News.
Sawmiller, Narine Lall has been charged separately and he has not been located since the bust of 84.9 kilogrammes of cocaine between March 1, 2017 and May 12, 2017 at Narine Lal’sl Sawmill, Lookout.
Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit prosecutor, Konyo Sandiford has said the joint charge was laid after “three months of surveillance” of Vieria that led to him and the other persons named being charged.