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Woman claims she lied under duress -MURDER PROBE

Rebekha Persaud tried assiduously to prevent her face from being photographed by journalists

Rebekha Persaud has claimed that she lied to law enforcers under ‘duress’ in an attempt to protect Kenaz Hazell who has been implicated in a deadly bar robbery at Long Look, Tortola.

During the robbery at Fahie Boy’s Bar on the night of January 6, bar owner Frankie Fahie was shot dead.

Persaud was hauled before Magistrate Vareen Vanterpool yesterday (June 16) on allegations that she attempted to pervert the course of justice.

The Josiah’s Bay resident has not yet pleaded before the court, but she has been granted bail.

Allegations are that, after the aforementioned robbery and murder, Hazell was taken into police custody for questioning.

Persaud, without being summoned, reportedly visited the police station and volunteered to give a statement.

She allegedly corroborated Hazell’s alibi regarding his whereabouts on the night of the murder.

Persaud’s statement to the police was incredibly ‘identical’ to the one given by Hazell, the court heard. That was what aroused the suspicion of law enforcers.

The prosecution, in court, described both statements as an “eerie coincidence”.

Whatsapp

Following further investigations, it was revealed that Hazell allegedly had been in contact with Persaud.

He was also in contact with other persons suspected of being involved in the deadly incident, the court heard. Police said others are yet to be apprehended.

The prosecution, in elaborating on the line of communication, said police retrieved Whatsapp conversations between Persaud and Hazell some time after the accused duo gave their statements.

Details of their conversation directly contradicted statements they had given to police, the court heard.

It is also said that, during a subsequent police interview, Persaud admitted to lying to the cops in an effort to ‘protect’ Hazell.

Persaud allegedly said she lied under duress, and she is fearful of Hazell and his ‘associates’.

Baby breastfed in jail

Persaud’s attorney Valerie Stephens-Gordon, in court yesterday, explained that the woman is a 26-year-old mother of three.

She has an eight, six, and a one-year-old child who all depend on her.

Stephens-Gordon further told the court that, even when Persaud was on remand, her baby had to be brought to the lock-up to be breastfeed.

“She recognises the seriousness of the offence,” added the defence attorney, who claimed that Persaud has cooperated with police since she was arrested on Thursday, June 15.

The attorney also said Persaud lied under duress to protect Hazell.

While noting that her client has ‘admitted’ to lying to police, Stephens-Gordon told the court: “She is aware that certain things may befall her; so give her an opportunity to put her house in order.”

The prosecution, on the other hand, objected to Persaud being released on bail.

Magistrate Vanterpool, after leaving the bench for about 20 minutes, returned with a favourable decision for Persaud.

“I am paying attention to the fact that you’re a young mother with three children… I am minded to grant bail,” the magistrate declared.

Persaud was then offered $60,000 bail. Her bail bond should be signed by two proper sureties.

The accused was also ordered to report to the East End Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 6am and 6pm.

She was further told to stay away from all persons associated with the case.

Persaud is scheduled to return to court on September 13.

Court hears how murder unfolds: Fahie shot for words?

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