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Six on trial for murder
Almost six years after two young sisters, ages six and three, were burnt to death in an arson attack on their Freeport home, six men went on trial in the Port-of-Spain High Court on Tuesday for their murders. Siblings Shiva, Ryan and Vishan Bajnauth and their friends Soman Rampersad, Kenny Mohammed and former Special Reserve Police (SRP) officer Junior John are before Justice Maria Wilson charged with arson which claimed the lives of Sangeeta and Sarah Ramdial and left two of their relatives injured.
As she addressed the jury and four alternatives, senior state prosecutor Renuka Rambhajan said the attack was caused by a longstanding disagreement between the victims’ family and some of the accused. “It is a case of bad blood and a land dispute,” Rambhajan said as she opened the case. According to Rambhajan, the State will lead evidence that hours before the incident took place on April 14, 2009, the children’s father Ashook reported death threats against his family to the Freeport Police Station.
Later that night, the men allegedly surrounded the family’s home at Uquire Road, Freeport, doused it with fuel and set it on fire. The children’s mother Geeta Singh and her brother-in-law Richard Ramdial ran out the front door and were shot several times. Rambhajan said Ashook jumped through a back window and managed to hide from the gunmen as he watched helplessly their small wooden house burn to the ground with his daughters inside.
The six men are being represented by Vernon De Lima, Ravi Rajcoomar, John Heath, Kern Saney and Chase Pegus.
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