No excuses were accepted by Magistrate Judy Latchman on Thursday when the case involving self-confessed drug lord Barry Dataram was expected to get underway before her in the absence of his Attorney.
Dataram’s Lawyer, Glen Hanoman failed to report to the court for the hearing and even Dataram could not offer any plausible explanation for his lawyer’s absence.
Dataram and the other accused seemed clueless as to the whereabouts of the Attorney who they had all expected to be there.
The matter was stood down twice by the Magistrate and Dataram was given an opportunity to locate his lawyer.
He returned and claimed that he could not reach Hanoman by phone. Dataram said he even paid a visit to his office but staff there said he had gone to court.
Which court? the confused Dataram could not say.
But despite his lawyer’s absence the Magistrate proceeded with the hearing and evidence was taken from Customs Anti – Narcotic Unit (CANU) Agent, Andrew Yarde.
Yarde, who had testified before, recounted the discovery of 129.230 kilogrammes of cocaine (equivalent to 284 pounds) at the home of Dataram.
He also recounted the discovery that some of the narcotics, eight packs, went missing after removal from Datarm’s home.
During the brief hearing, Dataram stood without legal representation and accused the witness of raiding him several times and even stealing money from him.
The case will continue on Friday at 13:00.
On April 16, 2015 CANU ranks seized the drugs, along with ammunition and cash during a raid at a house in Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
The cocaine was found in frozen seafood and in loose form and it is believed that the illegal substance was being packaged for trafficking out of Guyana.
Found in the house with the illegal items was Barry Dataram, who had successfully fought off an extradition attempt to the United States a few years ago after he was named in US Court documents as a drug dealer.
His wife and three other persons were also arrested during the raid.
Dataram subsequently appeared in a televised interview and said that the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit was involved in the drug trade and that the unit had agents who were allowing cocaine to pass through the Cheddi Jagan Airport.
CANU immediately dismissed the allegations of Dataram, but a Board of Inquiry has been set up by President David Granger to investigate the allegations made.
Cabinet is expected to review the report from that inquiry next week before it is made public.