Robert Redford documentary reveals strong evidence of Kris Maharaj’s innocence

July 13, 2014

An investigative documentary which airs today (Sunday July 13) will detail fresh evidence of the innocence of British citizen Kris Maharaj, who has spent the last three decades in a Florida prison for a murder he almost certainly didn’t commit.

Mr Maharaj (pictured, right, with his wife Marita), now 75 years old, was handed a death sentence in 1987 in Miami for the murders of Derrick and Duane Moo Young, after a seriously flawed trial.

Since then, leaked evidence has shown how the Moo Youngs were laundering up to $5bn for the Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar. Former cartel operatives recently admitted that the murders were carried out by Escobar’s Medellín cartel.

The hour-long CNN program, produced by Academy Award winner Robert Redford with narration by Susan Sarandon, will be the first time Mr Maharaj has been interviewed on a US network. It will show how Mr Maharaj, who has always maintained his innocence, had numerous alibi witnesses and passed a polygraph, yet was still convicted of murder.

The documentary will also highlight serious failings in Mr Maharaj’s original defense. At trial, his first attorney Eric Hendon failed to call a single witness, and presented a defense that consisted of only nine words: “Your Honor, the defense would rest at this time.”

The 11th District Court in Miami will hear a full evidentiary hearing on November 10th concerning Mr Maharaj’s claims of innocence, proof that the murders were a Colombian cartel hit, witness perjury, and a police cover-up in relation to the 1986 murders.

Clive Stafford Smith, Mr Maharaj’s attorney and the director of human rights organization Reprieve, said: “As this documentary will show, there is overwhelming evidence that Kris Maharaj is an innocent victim of police corruption and a broken justice system. Kris has languished in prison for 27 years too long. He can only hope that this November the court will put right this colossal injustice.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. The programme “Murder in Miami”, the first in the documentary series “Death Row Stories”, will air on CNN Sunday, July 13 at 2200 EST and

Monday 14th at 0100 EST. Clips from the programme can be accessed here.

  1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: (US)clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk/ 001 (929) 258 2754 or (UK) alice.gillham@reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 7792 351 660