attorney withdraws in Rampersad case

2019-02-27 06:01

THE trial of a man who allegedly doused his girlfriend with petrol and then set her on fire last year was delayed again yesterday after his lawyer withdrew.

Nathen Rampersad appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg regional court before magistrate Bemal Jaynarayan.

He was expected to plead guilty or alternatively the matter was set down for trial. However, state prosecutor Oscar Sokhela told the court that Rampersad no longer wished to plead guilty. Initially, he said he was pleading not guilty, then he said he is pleading guilty and now he says he is pleading not guilty.

Sokhela said his attorney Bongo­lethu Bomela will be withdrawing from the case, but he will let her explain.

She said that she has gotten conflicting statements from Rampersad and can no longer be his attorney.

Sokhela said he has no choice but to adjourn the matter for Rampersad to get a new attorney.

He is charged with arson and the attempted murder of his 17-year-old girlfriend on April 23 last year at their home in Lahore Road. He is alleged to have turned violent during an altercation. Rampersad remains in custody after bail was denied.

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