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No retrial for Ramesh’s brother

Published: 
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Krishna Maharaj

“One day I will be reunited with my brother.” So said former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, moments after he heard news that Florida Judge William Thomas had refused to order a new trial for his incarcerated elder brother Krishna Maharaj yesterday.

Its been 27 years since Krishna, 75, was imprisoned for the double murders of suspected Jamaican money launderer Derrick Moo Young and his son Duane at Miami’s Dupont Plaza hotel in 1986. However, the family remains confident that justice will come. During a brief interview, Maharaj said they were unfazed by the judge’s decision not to order a retrial.

“I heard about it a short while ago but I understand that the judge granted leave for appeal so we will be pursuing that,” Maharaj said. Asked how this news was impacting on the family, Maharaj responded, “We are all confident that we will eventually get justice.” Asked whether justice was taking too long Maharaj said, “No. We all understand that it is America we are dealing with.”

In his ruling, Thomas said fresh evidence presented in support of overturning the conviction was “too weak”. Maharaj’s attorneys during a four-day evidentiary hearing in Miami last November argued that Krishna was framed for the 1986 killings. The defence attorneys presented a testimony from cocaine king Pablo Escobar’s former hitman Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, who said Escobar had ordered the killings because the Moo Youngs were swindling cocaine money.

A retired agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration later said he had spoken to Vásquez by phone, prompting prosecutors to argue that his testimony could not be considered. However, prosecutors also said that Krishna’s fingerprints were all over the hotel room. They also said Krishna killed the Moo Youngs over a failed US$400,000 property deal. Thomas, after considering the case, said there were no grounds for either throwing out the conviction or ordering a retrial. 

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