The sentence is death by hanging for the five men who were found guilty of the gruesome murder of businessman Dr Edward Khoury 14 years ago in the Port of Spain High Court last night.
They had all been on trial before Justice Malcolm Holdip for more than a year for the September 21, 2005 murder. Justice Holdip imposed sentence on each of the men individually after the verdicts were read in the silent Courtroom after the jury had exhausted the four hours permitted for deliberations after starting at about 1:55 pm yesterday. An additional hour was requested by the jurors which took them to just before 9:00 pm.
During the trial, the jurors heard evidence from more than 60 witnesses, most of whom were police officers. The State, which was represented by attorneys Nigel Pilgrim and Anju Bhola, relied heavily on DNA evidence since Khoury’s blood was found on the shoes and articles of clothing belonging to some of the men. A DNA expert from the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was also called by the State as a witness in the trial.
Justice Holdip read:”The sentence of this court is that you be taken from this place to a lawful prison and then to a place of execution and that you suffer the penalty of death by hanging and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”.
The jurors were reminded of the day of the murder by one of Dr Khoury’s employees who was present at ISKO Enterprises, when four men stormed the business place and kidnapped Khoury, before bundling him in a car and fleeing the scene.
The horrific murder gripped headlines for weeks after Khoury’s decapitated body was found in an abandoned orange estate in Central Trinidad.