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Roger Khan’s plea bargaining… The deal that has led US Prosecutors in the case against Guyanese businessman Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan to accept a guilty plea commenced in earnest following the indictment of Khan’s former lead attorney, Robert Simels.Attorney-at-law Vic Puran, who previously represented the embattled Guyanese drug king in Guyana, told this newspaper that following Simels’s forced withdrawal from the case,Cheap Jerseys, Khan’s new lead attorney, Diarmuid White, began the process of negotiating a deal that led to the eventual announcement.Khan,Nike Tns Sale, on Monday,NFL Jerseys Supply, entered a guilty plea on all the charges against him, including 18 counts of drug trafficking, and the 1994 gunrunning charges in Vermont, as well as witness tampering. In the process he accepted a 15-year sentence.Attorney-at-law Vic PuranSpeaking with this newspaper yesterday, Khan’s former local attorney Vic Puran disclosed that he had visited Khan on several occasions in the United States after the accused was taken there in 2006, from Trinidad, to face the drug trafficking charges.He said that he first suggested a plea bargain in 2006 when he travelled to the United States to meet with Khan for the first time since the man’s arrest.He said that he advised Khan that that might be the right way to go since to go through with a trial would have been very costly.Asked to comment on that first visit in 2006, Puran said that the then lead attorney, Robert Simels, did not believe what Khan was saying to him. He said that it was his duty to tell Khan to trust Simels.Commenting on the plea bargain proposal, Puran said that there were some initial hiccups then as the prosecution appeared not to be too interested.According to the lawyer, the US Prosecutors had demanded that Khan tell them ‘everything they wanted to know in exchange for a minimum 20-year sentence.’This deal went nowhere, according to Puran.The lawyer said that he suggested to Khan that he offer to talk to the federal agents about only one issue, the Iranian involvement in Guyana. However, by the time Puran visited again in December 2006, Khan said that he was not interviewed by the federal authorities.Then came the bombshell when Khan’s lead attorney, Robert Simels, was indicted in September last year for plotting to eliminate a witness and was subsequently debarred from further participation in the case.“I don’t now what caused this new movement. When I was there (in the US) five months ago the judge had told Roger (Khan) that she was giving him time to obtain the services of a new attorney,” Puran told this newspaper.He explained that at that time Diarmuid White, who was a part of the defence team, was tipped to replace Simels.Shaheed ‘Roger’ KhanPuran said that although White was not a trial lawyer, he advised Khan to stick with him since he was the most appropriate attorney to deal with any plea bargaining should the need arise.Puran said that although Khan had a very defendable case,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, he advised him that he did not need a trial lawyer.“I cannot say what precipitated it but I think that it (plea bargain) was a good deal,” the local attorney stated.He added that ever since 2006 there was a lawyer working on a plea bargaining deal.He explained that the US justice system encourages plea bargaining,Wholesale Jerseys NFL, since in the United States of America it is a part of a process.“Since there is a possibility of conviction (even if you did not commit the crime) the sentencing process would have been very different. There is a possibility that he would have been sentenced to life imprisonment,” Puran explained.This newspaper was unsuccessful in its attempt to reach both Robert Simels and Diarmuid White yesterday.At the same time, it is not yet clear if Khan’s testimony against Simels in the witness tampering case was a part of the deal.According to the Guyanese lawyer,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, following yesterday’s development his impression of Judge Dora Irizarry had changed completely.He said that during the initial stages of Khan’s indictment when there were a lot of contentious issues, there was the impression that the presiding judge was a ‘hawk’.Puran said that on his part, this image gradually changed.“I told Roger that she is fair. I told him he would get a fair trial. The fact that this (15 year sentence) has come up shows that she is fair,” Puran said.Judge Irizarry presiding in the case will rule on the deal shortly. She must first study the pre-sentencing report.She can also refuse to accept the conditions of the plea bargaining.
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