Maharaj and others (Appellants) v The State (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago)
Case ID: JCPC 2018/0069
Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Whether the Court of Appeal erred by refusing to admit fresh evidence that the main prosecution witness had lied during the trial and, if so whether the convictions of the appellants should be quashed in light of the fresh evidence.
In 2001 the nine appellants were convicted of the murder of Thackoor Boodram. The State’s case in relation to the appellants was based on the evidence of one witness, Junior Grandison. The appellants’ appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. They were refused permission to appeal against the convictions to the JCPC but the JCPC quashed their sentences of death and substituted those with sentences of life imprisonment.
In 2011, Mr Grandison swore a statutory declaration in which he stated that the evidence he had given at the trial was not true. The matter was referred to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of that statutory declaration. At the hearing, the appellants sought to rely on the statutory declaration as well as other fresh evidence to suggest that Mr Grandison had given false evidence at the trial. The State also wished to adduce fresh evidence to suggest that Mr Grandison’s retraction of his evidence was false. The Court of Appeal refused to admit the appellants’ fresh evidence as they did not find it to be credible, and therefore dismissed the appeals. The appellants now appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
Maharaj and others
Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Burrows, Lady Rose, Dame Julia Macur
Hearing start date
6 July 2021
Hearing finish date
7 July 2021