– as Brazilian forensic expert testifies as final witness
By Paula Gomes
Family members of the late Babita Sarjou, and those of murder accused Sharnandand Narine, called “Anand,” and accomplice Darel Ponton, called “Yankee”, flocked the courtroom in anticipation on Tuesday, as Brazilian forensic specialist Renato Teodoro Ferreira Paranaibo testified via a Skype video call before the court of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Courts.
Paranaibo is a Brazilian Forensic Genetics Expert who has worked at the National Institute of Criminalistics, Brazilian Federal Police, since 2003. His testimony is based on the results of the DNA analysis from Sarjou’s remains which had been sent to Brazil to be tested.
However, the Internet connection was not very good, and proceedings were prolonged as Attorneys Ronald Trotman and Hubert Rodney sought to discredit the integrity of the evidence presented by the witness.
The attorneys had recently made submissions calculated to prevent the doctor from testifying. They had contended that the evidence was not being presented in court per se, but via Skype.
Narine and Ponton are presently on remand for the alleged murder of Babita Sarjou, then Narine’s estranged wife, some seven years ago.
On November 4, 2010, a day that would forever be remembered by Sarjou’s family, the now deceased woman had left her Timehri, East Bank Demerara home to meet her husband and son at the Kitty Seawall, to view the annual Diwali Motorcade. When she did not return home, her worried family had filed a missing person’s report, but after months of fruitless investigations, the case had been closed.
It was, however, reopened last May as a homicide by Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum after investigators had made a major breakthrough when ‘Yankee’ cracked under intensive interrogation and led police officials to the shallow grave in Narine’s backyard wherein Sarjou’s remains had been buried for six years.
“Yankee” reportedly confessed to committing the act for some $50,000 and a promised trip to Trinidad offered by Narine, estranged husband of the deceased.
This matter continues on September 12, 2017 before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.