Matthew Munroe, who was acquitted of the 2017 murder of school teacher Kescia Branche, has filed a $50.3 million lawsuit against the State.
In May, Munroe, a taxi driver formerly of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was acquitted of the crime after the prosecution failed to locate the key witness.
As a result, High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty and discharged Munroe.
In his lawsuit filed by a battery of lawyers led by Dexter Todd, Munroe, among other things, is seeking more than $50.3 million in damages for violation of his constitutional rights, including the wrongful advancement of a murder indictment against him, his wrongful detention for four years and six months and a breach of his fundamental right to liberty.
During a case management conference held recently by Justice Kissoon, State Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs revealed that despite no real evidence linking Munroe to the crime, she was instructed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, to continue with the charge.
Moreover, the taxi driver’s lawyers contended that due to his incarceration, he lost an income of $8,640,000 as a Marketing Clerk and another $16, 200,000 as a taxi driver.
Branche's battered body was found on November 5, 2017, at Louisa Row, Georgetown. She succumbed two days later at the Georgetown Public Hospital without regaining consciousness.
It was reported that her injuries appeared to be consistent with those inflicted by the impact of a vehicle. A Post Mortem Examination (PME) revealed that she succumbed to brain haemorrhage caused by blunt trauma to the head.
In fact, after being acquitted, Munroe had called on the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to reopen the investigation in a bid to find the teacher’s real killer.