The New York-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is calling on Guyana’s Attorney General, Basil Williams, to investigate allegations that two Ukrainian nationals, criminal defendants in a subjudice case, contacted relatives of a magistrate in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.
On Saturday, CGID said the Ukrainians, Vitaly Paraschuck and Maksym Furtak, were arrested and charged with threatening behavior and assault causing actual bodily harm following release of a video showing them assaulting, punching and pulling a gun on a Guyanese miner from Hopkinson Mining & Logistics Company.
The crime took place in the community of Quartzstone, in Guyana’s hinterland Cuyuni/Mazaruni Region.
The case is being heard at the Bartica Magistrates’ Court over which Magistrate Crystel Lambert presides.
CGID said it has received information confirming that the defendants “indeed contacted the magistrate’s relatives in an effort to influence the outcome of the case.”
“At a court hearing on September 12, 2018, Magistrate Lambert warned the defendants that she is an officer of the court and would not condone anyone contacting her family with regards to any case,” CGID said.
“She also directed the attorneys for the defendants to instruct their clients to desist from contacting her family members regarding the case,” it added.
CGID’s Guyana-born President Rickford Burke also said that, “if the allegation is true, the act constitutes a conspiracy or attempt to pervert the course of, and/or obstruct, justice.”
“Such conduct imperils the security of judicial officers and undermines the integrity of the judicial system,” he added. “It cannot be condoned. These are serious allegations that merit a criminal investigation.”
In its letter to Williams, the institute said “an investigation is warranted to determine if crimes were committed and to protect the image and integrity of the judiciary.”