CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. May 26, 2009: U.S. prosecutors are reportedly moving to `redact` or edit the statements of defendants` being tried in the murder of Trinidad-born, U.S. Army veteran, Balram Maharaj.
Redaction is the process whereby a written statement of a witness is edited to remove or disguise any improper or impermissible references.
Trinidad Army corporal Ricardo de Four along with civilians Zion Clarke, Kevon Demerieux, Anthony Straker, Wayne Pierre, Christopher Sealey, and Kevin Nixon are facing charges in a U.S. Court of conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in the death of Maharaj.
The feds are proposing only edited portions of the defense statements be allowed in to trial. But on Monday, attorney for DeFour filed an opposition to the government`s plan, insisting that such a move will distort the defendants statements and violate `the rule of completeness.`
`It deprives the jury of important information which is necessary to explain defendant`s theory of the case and to evaluate the inculpatory portions of his statement,` argued Attorney for DeFour, Jonathan Zucker, on Monday. He wants the statement to be retained as originally written.
Four other Trinidadians pleaded guilty to the charges, among them army Sgt. Leon Nurse. Maharaj, a Trinidadian, was kidnapped outside the Samaan tree bar in Aranguez on April 5, 2005. A ransom of $3 million was demanded. His body parts were found on January 8, 2006 in two containers in the Santa Cruz forest. – By CWNN Staffer