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Florida Judge Orders November Hearing on Evidence of Brit's Innocence
UNITED KINGDOM - A full evidentiary hearing will be held in November for 75-year-old British citizen Krishna 'Kris' Maharaj, it was announced today. The hearing could prove the Brit’s innocence after 27 years in a Florida prison.
In a Miami court today, Judge William Thomas set the hearing for the week of November 10th. The announcement comes after his recent decision to allow a full hearing on Mr Maharaj’s claims of innocence, witness perjury, and a police cover-up in the 1986 deaths of Derrick and Duane Moo Young in the Dupont Plaza, in downtown Miami.
Mr Maharaj's legal team - he has been represented pro bono by Clive Stafford Smith, director of legal charity Reprieve, and Miami lawyer Benedict Kuehne for the past two decades - has developed evidence showing that the crimes were committed by Colombian drug cartels. Unknown to Mr Maharaj at the time of the original trial, many of the prosecution’s cast of witnesses were involved in narcotics trafficking.
As yet without any funding to present his defence, Mr Maharaj will also be seeking state funding to bring a large number of witnesses to the Miami courtroom.
Clive Stafford Smith, lawyer for Mr Maharaj and director of Reprieve said: “We stand on the cusp of being able to exonerate Kris Maharaj. When the prosecution takes a close look at the evidence that we have developed, it will be clear that Kris should never have been tried for this crime in the first place. This is such a clear case of injustice that the real question should be how fast the State of Florida can release Kris.”
Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.