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Legal Aid lawyer to help murder accused

Friday, December 10, 2010

Attorney Ramesh Deena has been appointed as instructing attorney to murder accused Mukesh Chandradath who remained adamant he wished to represent himself. Deena, who was appointed to the case by the Legal Aid Authority, made his first appearance in the matter before Justice Prakash Moosai in the San Fernando High Court yesterday. He asked for a brief adjournment.

Deena would assist Chandradath on matters of the law. He said: “I only came on record Tuesday and I haven’t had time to take proper instructions from my client. There are some legal issues, which are complex in nature and I would need time to get my instructions.”

Chandradath is charged with the murder of pensioner Selwyn Grant, on a date unknown, between July 31, 1999 and September 17, 1999 at Penal. Chandradath fired his legal aid appointed attorney Mewahlal Chatoor, insisting he wanted to represent himself in the trial. Chandradath created history on November 29 when he refused to enter a plea to the charge of murder after being read the indictment.

Moosai, on several occasions, stressed the importance of an attorney representing Chandradath. However he remained adamant that he would represent himself and cross examine witnesses. State prosecutor Jeron Joseph did not object to the adjournment. He said he was ready to proceed with his case. The judge told jurors to return on December 16.