Court hears yet more evidence of death row Brit’s innocence

November 13, 2014

A Florida court yesterday (Wednesday) heard yet more evidence that Briton Kris Maharaj is innocent of two murders for which he has spent 28 years in jail, for which he spent 15 years on death row.

Former Miami Police Officer Michael Flynn, opened the day’s testimony by insisting that Kris had been “hooked up” – police parlance for framing someone.

Cartel member Jorge Maya testified by taped deposition that the murders were ordered by Pablo Escobar and the killer – a man called Cuchilla (the Blade) – had been paid a million dollars for this murder and one other.

Baruch Vega, a former long-time government informant, testified last. He said that one of the two victims, Derrick Moo Young, was involved in money laundering and had lost Pablo Escobar’s money. Vega testified that Colombian cartel member Jaime Vallejo Mejia had been staying in the hotel room opposite the one in which the murders took place, and that he heard Mejia saying that the Moo Youngs must be killed. All of this was known to the authorities at the time the crime took place, Vega said.

In 1987, Mr Maharaj was convicted of the murder of two men in Miami, Florida and sentenced to death. In 2002, due to violations in due process at his trial, his death sentence was overturned; and in April this year, a Miami judge granted Mr Maharaj a full evidentiary hearing on the basis of new evidence filed by his lawyers.

Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve and Kris’ lawyer, said: “Yesterday saw more powerful evidence that Kris Maharaj is innocent. It is a shame this testimony is being heard 28 years later than it should have. There will be one more day of evidence and then I sincerely hope – and expect – that justice will be done, and Kris will be released.”


Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8161.