Trial for the murder of Rupert Berney Appasamy |28 May 2022
First accused addresses the court
One of the two accused in the ongoing trial for the murder of Rupert Berney Appasamy yesterday addressed the court, giving his version of the story on the course of events relating to the death of Appasamy whose decomposed body was found shallowly buried at Bougainville, Takamaka on September 23, 2021.
The accused, namely Ken Jean-Charles, is being tried for murder, while the second accused, Sindu Parekh, has been charged for counselling or procuring another to commit the offence of murder, and also conspiring with another to commit the offence of murder.
Both accused had to choose between three options during yesterday’s hearing, including not to talk at all, to talk without taking the oath, and to take the oath and give evidence where they will be questioned by lawyers.
The case is being presided over by Justice Mohan Niranjit Burhan, with lawyers Olivier Chang-Leng and Tony Juliette representing Jean-Charles and Parekh respectively, while Corrine Rose and Georges Thachet are the prosecution lawyers.
Jean-Charles chose to talk without taking the oath, while Parekh decided to remain silent.
Addressing the court after both defence lawyers informed Justice Burhan that they will not be bringing in any witness, the first accused said he got to know the former accused, who turned state witness in the case, in June last year when he was looking for odd jobs in his construction business, while he has known the second accused – Parekh – for quite a while.
He said in September last year, he bumped into Parekh at Eden Island and the latter asked him if he knew the victim – Berney Appasamy – to which he answered ‘no’.
He told the court that on September 8, 2021, he got a call from Parekh who was enquiring about Appasamy, including his identity number to give to the authorities.
He said he agreed to assist and ask Parekh to text him Appasamy’s name, while the former also informed him that Appasamy had served time in prison.
Jean-Charles told the court that he asked the state witness on whether he knew Appasamy, to which he said Appasamy was his good friend.
He told the court he informed the state witness that one of his friends was enquiring about Appasamy who was going to his girlfriend and asking for money.
He said on September 10, 2021, he and the state witness went to look for Appasamy at La Louise, but they did not find him.
Following that, he said they went to Roche Caïman where they saw a man with whom Appasamy was working. The same man has previously appeared as a witness in the case.
He said they did not see Appasamy, but the state witness informed him that he had seen Appasamy’s mother and had informed her that he will be working with them the following day.
He said the same day, he informed Parekh that he will get the information he was looking for since Appasamy was supposed to be working for him the next day.
Jean-Charles further noted that on the morning of September 11, 2021, he drove through Roche Caïman, and since he did not know what Appasamy looked like, he drove up to Anse Aux Pins to pick up the state witness.
On their way down, he said he dropped the state witness at Roche Caïman before proceeding to Mont Fleuri to buy something, before the two – Appasamy and the state witness – were picked up next to the ex-Airtel building on the road leading to Providence.
He said he then took them to Chetty flats to buy drugs, before driving up to Bougainville where the state witness had informed him that there were some hose pipes he will need to water some plants that they were preparing.
He said once there, Appasamy and the state witness got off the vehicle while he was on the phone, before he himself got off and went round the house to a small store, since he knew where the hose pipes were.
He said once there, he saw two more people, precisely a Rasta in a yellow t-shirt, and another man wearing a black t-shirt.
He added that the state witness told him that the two men needed some of the pipes and that he, and Appasamy will help them to carry.
He said after a while, the state witness returned to the vehicle without Appasamy and told him that Appasamy will stay with the two individuals and come down later.
He said on the same day he attended a function at the place where the two – the state witness and Appasamy – were supposedly working.
He also told the court that Appasamy was still alive at that point.
He also made reference to some of the exhibits, including a spade and a crowbar which he said were not in his pick-truck on that day.
He said at around 8pm on the same day, the state witness called him and informed him that Apassamy’s mother had called him, looking for her son who she said had not returned home yet.
Jean-Charles added that on September 12, he met up with the state witness again to go to work, and later asked to go to Bougainville to get his bag and knife.
He said upon questioning the state witness on how he got to Bougainville the night before, he replied that he and Appasamy went there to collect their payments for the hose pipes from the two men after work.
He also added that on the same day, he asked the state witness whether Appasamy was coming to work on that day, to which he replied no, since the former had another job on that day.
He also confirmed that on the following Monday, Parekh called him to see whether he had managed to get the information on Appasamy, to which he replied no, since Appasamy had not come to work for the past two days.
The case will continue next week where the jury has been scheduled to give its verdict on Friday June 3.