The trial which was ordered by High Court Judge Fidela Corbin-Lincoln to resolve a claim filed against the State by Ronald Khan, who is claiming that police wrongfully detained $54M in diamonds belonging to him, has been adjourned until Wednesday, October, 24, 2018.
In a writ dated January 3, 2011 issued by his Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, Khan said that his mining camp at Ewang Creek was robbed during 1994. He further stated that members of the Guyana Police Force recovered the diamonds and lodged them at the Mahdia Police Station.
This occurred, he said, after police ranks informed him that the diamonds were exhibits in the criminal trial of the persons charged with armed robbery of his mining camp.
However, Khan said that after several years, police were unable to successfully prosecute the perpetrators and that his lawyer wrote a letter to Commissioner of Police, at the time, requesting the return of his belongings.
Alternately, Khan is asking the court to grant an order directing the Commissioner of Police to pay him $54M being the value of his diamonds and damages in excess of $100,000.
In the legal document, Khan said that although the Commissioner of Police acknowledged the letter, his diamonds were never returned.
But the State is contending that Khan has to prove that those stones were diamonds and also its value.
The trial which was scheduled to commence this morning (August 23, 2018) at the High Court in Georgetown was deferred until late October, after Attorney Hughes who is representing Khan (the plaintiff) failed to file certain legal documents, and in one instance filed to file Khan’s statement way past the time ordered by the court.
When the matter first came up on May 22, 2018 Justice Corbin-Lincoln ordered that the witness statement (affidavit) be filed by June, 22, 2018. The State which is being represented by Solicitor General Kim Kyte-Thomas was given until July 06, 2018 to file submissions raised about limitation.
To respond to those submissions the plaintiff was granted until July 20, 2018.
However, the court learnt this morning that the witness statement was filed late Tuesday afternoon. Due to yesterday being a national holiday, the Solicitor General indicated to the court that she did not receive a copy of the affidavit.
The court was pushing to commence the trial this morning with Khan giving his evidence.
However, the Solicitor General requested a short adjournment so as to facilitate her getting a copy of the witness statement and perusing to be better able to cross examine Khan after he gives his evidence in chief.
Justice Corbin was obliged to grant the adjournment in the matter but not after expressing, “This is unfortunate we will have to take another adjournment.”
Within the new date set for the trial, the State was also ordered by the court to produce document related to the case which dates as far back as 1994.
When the trial gets underway, a total of four witnesses are expected to testify—three on behalf of the State and Khan in defence of his claim. Three of these witnesses were presented at court today including Khan, who is visually impaired.