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Andrea Bharatt
JANELLE BERNARD

Criminal law attorney Fareed Ali says there is still a case to be established in the kidnapping and death of Andrea Bharatt, notwithstanding the deaths of two suspects.

Ali points out there were initially seven persons arrested and while two of those suspects are now deceased—Joel Balcon, who is believed to have been the mastermind and main person involved in the kidnapping of Andrea Bharatt, and Andrew Morris—there are still unanswered questions.

“We’ve had seven persons arrested in this matter, according to my calculations,” Ali surmises.  “Three were released; two are dead; and we are down to two persons.”

“There is in law what we call ‘joint enterprise’, and though we may not have a determination before a court as to whether those two persons are substantively the cause of the death,” he explains, “the determination of the matter before the court, moving forward, would pivot on the nature and the substance of the evidence the police have gathered.”

The criminal law specialist says there are still suspects in police custody whose part in Andrea’s kidnapping and death have not been established.  He illustrates his point with a joint enterprise scenario involving felony murder.

“If I and another individual embark on criminal activity and our intention may have been to rob, and in the process of robbery one of us departs from the agreed plan and we don’t rob—one of us kills.  The person who doesn’t rob is equally responsible for the activity of the other individual, because they embarked on the illegal activity together.”

23-year-old Andrea Bharatt went missing after she entered what she believed to be a taxi on King Street in Arima on Friday 29 January 2021.

Her body was found a week later, in a forested area at the Heights of Aripo.