Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ramsahoye, according to reports, had been searching for Surujdin’s brother, whom he had given $10 million worth of raw gold to sell in Suriname

Stabroek News news item. September 16, 2009. Ramsahoye, photographer on $2M bail over abduction -victim unwilling to proceed

Neurologist Dr Walter Ramsahoye and an alleged accomplice were yesterday charged with holding a man against his will and assaulting him after a business deal reportedly worth $10M fell through.
Dr Walter Ramsahoye [1]

Dr Walter Ramsahoye

Ramsahoye, who also practices general medicine, and photographer Clairmont Marcus were released on $1 million bail each by Magistrate Haymant Ramdhani at the Mahaica Magistrates’ Court, after the virtual complainant Girdharry Surujdin indicated that he wanted to end the matter.

Ramsahoye, a general medicine practitioner of 330 Church Street and Marcus, a former Stabroek News photographer and ex policeman of 2206 Flying Fish Street, North Ruimveldt were also charged with assault, for which they were each placed on bail in the sum of $50,000. While the men were not required to plead to the abduction charge, they denied carrying out the assault.

Before announcing bail, Magistrate Ramdhani pointed out that the charge “reflects crimes against society” and stressed the seriousness of the offence. The police are said to be looking for two other men.

According to the particulars of the charges, on September 14 at Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara, the two defendants abducted Surujdin and allegedly assaulted him. On Friday, when the duo returns to the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court, it is likely that the charges will be dropped.

It was related that around 8 pm on Monday, Surujdin’s sister turned up at the Beterverwagting Police Station and reported that “people” went to her brother’s home, broke down the gate, dragged him out of the house and bundled him into a car before driving off. Some time later, the police received information that a man was in a drain at Church Street. When policemen went to investigate, the man turned out to be Surujdin and he was in a drain outside Ramsahoye’s residence.
Clairmonte Marcus [2]

Clairmonte Marcus

Stabroek News was told that Surujdin, who was suffering from an injury to his ankle, alleged that he had been taken from his home by Ramsahoye and Marcus and forced into a waiting car. He was then taken to the doctor’s home where two other men were waiting. The man told police that he was placed on a chair and that Ramsahoye picked up a hammer and began beating him.

Ramsahoye, according to reports, had been searching for Surujdin’s brother, whom he had given $10 million worth of raw gold to sell in Suriname. The man later said that he was robbed and did not have any money.

During the beating, Surujdin was told that he was not going to be released until the money was handed over. However, he managed to escape by jumping through a nearby window after the telephone rang and distracted two of the men.

When the police arrived at the house, only Ramsahoye was present and he and the injured man were taken to the Sparendaam Police Station.

While Surujdin was at the hospital seeking medical attention, Marcus, according to a senior police source, turned up at the station to check on the doctor. Based on a description that was given, he was detained and subsequently identified as one of the persons involved in the incident.
‘I don’t want a problem’

However, in court yesterday Surujdin, whose right foot was in cast, indicated that he did not want the matter to continue. “I don’t want a problem,” he said moments after he hopped to the bar to address the court. The man, who was clearly uncomfortable, was being supported by persons in order to stand. Meanwhile, Ramsahoye, who was dressed in a green and white striped shirt with olive coloured pants and Marcus, who wore a grey track suit, were expressionless as they entered and headed for the docks. Associates of the doctor and relatives of Marcus were present to lend their support.

Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, who entered an appearance for the duo in association with Petal De Santos, indicated that he was “reliably told” that the virtual complainant had given a signed statement to the police stating that he did not want the case to continue.

He pointed out too that the abduction charge had not been sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack, whom he had earlier spoken with. De Santos told the court that the DPP has advised that in a case where the virtual complainant does not want to proceed, she will discontinue the matter.

But prosecutor Bernard Browne later said that he was unaware of the statement by the complainant and the court was adjourned to allow him to verify the claim. When the hearing reconvened, the prosecutor said that he did not have any such document or statement in his file, while De Santos asked the court to inquire from the police officer who was swearing to the charges whether he was aware of the statement. The magistrate later indicated that the offence was becoming prevalent and as such the court would have to read the charges as opposed to putting them aside.

In making a bail application, De Santos said Ramsahoye is a holder of special degrees and conducts his practice at North Road and Light Street, Georgetown. The doctor, he pointed out, has been practicing medicine in Guyana for the last 34 years.

“He is extremely well known to the length and breath of this country and comes from a distinguished family,” the attorney said, before pointing out that Ramsahoye had an unblemished record and was not a flight risk. He also informed the court that Ramsahoye was severely diabetic and had to receive insulin while at the Sparendaam Police Station.

Marcus, De Santos said, also had no prior problems with the law and was a former member of the police force. He added that Marcus, due to the nature of his work, is generally well known and also did not pose a flight risk.

However, Browne objected, pronouncing on the nature of the allegation, the section under which the charges were laid and the likelihood of witness tampering and obstruction. Before granting bail, the magistrate pointing out that it had nothing to do with status but rather what is clear.

The Magistrate again asked Surujdin his position and he again indicated that he did not wish to proceed with the matter. The fact that the section under which the charges were laid was bailable and because the virtual complainant did not want to proceed were enough to convince the magistrate to grant the duo bail.
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