Nov 09, 2017
Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman yesterday ruled newspaper columnist and social activist Frederick Kissoon, competent, and admitted his testimony as evidence in the trial of three men accused of throwing feces on him.
Kwame McCoy, Jason Abdulla and Shawn Hinds are accused of assaulting Kissoon on Monday, May 24, 2010, at Georgetown. They are all out on $100,000 bail.
This ruling comes after Attorney-at-law Glenn Hanoman, who is representing Abdulla, questioned the sanity of Kissoon, arguing that he was unable to “answer simple questions.” As such, the lawyer had urged the court to throw out the columnist’s evidence.
In her ruling, Magistrate Judy Latchman said that Kissoon was able to comprehend the questions put to him by Hanoman.
Prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves last week closed his case against the three accused which has been ongoing for more than a year.
The men allegedly threw fecal matter into Kissoon’s face when he emerged from Nigel’s Supermarket, at Robb Street, Georgetown.
It was reported that an individual walked up to the columnist’s vehicle and threw the substance on him.
After the attack, Kissoon reportedly drove behind the perpetrator who ran north along Light Street then onto North Road, before jumping into a waiting car.
Attorney Latchmie Rahamat is representing McCoy; Attorneys Euclin Gomes and Glenn Hanoman are representing Abdulla; Hinds is being represented by Attorney George Thomas.
Last year when Kissoon was called to give his testimony to the court, he recalled that on the day in question, he had left Nigel’s Supermarket on Robb Street, Georgetown and entered his vehicle which was parked nearby. He said that he had wound down his vehicle’s window when a man walked up and threw a substance on him.
The witness recounted that after the substance was thrown on him, a man of African descent walked away, jogged across North Road, proceeded down Merriman Mall and entered a motorcar. He also went on to describe his attacker’s height and body structure.
When asked by Prosecutor Bostwick if there were other persons in the car, Kissoon replied in the affirmative.
However, when asked by the prosecutor to point out the person who had thrown the substance on him, Kissoon was unable to do so, indicating that the individual was not present in court.
Under further cross examination by Hanoman, Kissoon said that he discarded the shirt he was wearing at the time of the attack, because he had no reason for wanting to keep a nasty piece of material.
”For such an event in your life, you can’t remember what type of shirt you were wearing?” the Magistrate asked. Kissoon then sought to explain that it was an ordinary denim shirt.
In addition, Hanoman requested that the Magistrate warn Kissoon about his demeanour. At this stage, Kissoon asked the Magistrate to tell him what was wrong about his demeanour.
The Magistrate did not respond. Hanoman and Kissoon had an exchange of words after Kissoon refused to answer questions he said were not clear to him.
It was then that Hanoman asked the Magistrate to make a ruling on Kissoon’s competence to continue as a witness. The Magistrate did not do such.
During cross examination by Rahamat, Kissoon was asked how he was able to identify his attacker since he mentioned in his testimony that he was in a state of shock.
In response, he told the lawyer that although he was in a state of shock, it did not affect his visual capabilities.
During Kissoon’s testimony, Rahamat also requested for the Magistrate to warn Kissoon. The Attorney did not specify what she wanted the witness to be warned about.
Kissoon repeatedly asked Magistrate Latchman what the lawyer was implying, but she declined to answer.