Husband, hitman appeal murder conviction of wife’s killing

Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 18:00

A jilt­ed hus­band and his friend, who so­licit­ed and con­tract­ed a hit­man to mur­der his ex-wife and her new lover, a lit­tle over 13 years ago, have ap­pealed their mur­der con­vic­tions. 


Pre­sent­ing sub­mis­sions be­fore Ap­pel­late Judges Al­ice Yorke-Soo Hon, Mark Mo­hammed and Prakash Moo­sai at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day, lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Bas­deo “Bas” Ram­lochan and Siewku­mar “Bob­by” Chanka-Per­sad claimed that the High Court Judge, who presided over their case, made sev­er­al er­rors when he sum­marised the facts and le­gal is­sues to the ju­ry, that even­tu­al­ly con­vict­ed them in 2017. 

At­tor­ney Jagdeo Singh, who led the duo’s le­gal team, claimed that Jus­tice Mal­colm Holdip failed to prop­er­ly di­rect the ju­ry on the fact that they had clean crim­i­nal records be­fore be­ing charged. He al­so con­tend­ed that Holdip did not in­form the ju­ry they should as­sess the ev­i­dence against each man sep­a­rate­ly. 

Singh al­so took is­sue with Holdip’s di­rec­tions over a state­ment giv­en by Chanka-Per­sad in which he al­leged­ly con­fessed. Singh claimed that Holdip failed to ex­plain to the ju­ry that they could not con­sid­er where Chanka-Per­sad, who al­so tes­ti­fied in his de­fence, al­leged im­pli­cat­ed his co-ac­cused. 

Re­spond­ing to Singh, at­tor­ney Tra­vers Sinanan, who led the team for the Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP), ad­mit­ted that Holdip’s sum­ma­tion of the case was not er­ror-free. 


“There is no per­fect sum­ma­tion,” Sinanan said, as he called up­on the ap­peal pan­el to con­sid­er the “to­tal­i­ty” of the ev­i­dence in the case as done by Holdip. 

Sinanan al­so claimed that Holdip’s er­rors were mi­nor and would not have led the ju­ry to ar­rive at a per­verse ver­dict based on the ev­i­dence. 

Ram­lochan’s es­tranged wife Suni­ta “Michelle” Ram­lochan, 29, and her com­mon-law hus­band Rahim “Bam” Abra­ham were mur­dered at her fa­ther’s home at Kuldip Trace, St John’s Vil­lage, Av­o­cat, on Oc­to­ber 15, 2006. 

The cou­ple and Suni­ta’s 11-year-old daugh­ter, who is Ram­lo­gan’s child, had just re­turned home from a vis­it to the Di­vali Na­gar site when they were at­tacked and shot sev­er­al times.

The State’s case was not that Ram­lochan and Chanka-Per­sad pulled the trig­ger, but that they sought out and hired a hit­man to do it. 

In ad­di­tion to Chanka-Per­sad’s state­ment, State pros­e­cu­tors al­so led ev­i­dence from a se­cu­ri­ty guard who claimed that Ram­lochan ap­proached him on six oc­ca­sions be­tween 2004 and 2006 to help him, some­one, car­ry out the mur­ders.  

An­oth­er State wit­ness claimed that Ram­lochan told him that he had mar­i­tal prob­lems and that he paid a hit­man $90,000 to kill her but he did not per­form the task. 

Af­ter hear­ing the sub­mis­sions, the ap­peal pan­el re­served their judge­ment. 

Ram­lochan is al­so be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Renu­ka Ramb­ha­jan. 

Reporter: Derek Achong