Death row millionaire may be set free

 

New evidence will be presented to a Florida court today which could help to free a British millionaire from death row.

Kris Maharaj, a once flamboyant businessman and racehorse owner, is facing death in the electric chair for shooting dead two Miami business associates in a hotel room in 1986.

But The Independent has learned that fresh evidence will be produced which, Maharaj's lawyers claim, links the killings to the brother of two men jailed for life for one of Britain's most notorious murders, when the wife of a newspaper executive was killed and her body fed to pigs in 1970.

Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein each served 20 years for the murder of Muriel McKay and their notoriety was such that their waxwork images were displayed in Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors.

Documents put into court in Miami show that lawyers representing Maharaj will say that a third Hosein brother, Adam, should have been the primary suspect in the assassinations of the two businessmen, Derrick and Duane Moo Young.

Clive Stafford-Smith, the New Orleans-based British lawyer who specialises in representing death row prisoners, is preparing to unravel a complicated tale of drug-dealing and double-crossing which he believes will free Maharaj.

He said last night: "The more work we have done on Kris's case, the more obvious it has become that he was rail-roaded. I am convinced that we can show that he was not the killer."

Mr Stafford-Smith has gathered evidence which he says will demonstrate that Maharaj, now 58, was cleverly framed.

He says he will show that Adam Hosein, who was a business associate of the Moo Youngs, ran a business with Nigel Bowe, a high-powered Bahamas- based lawyer who, in addition to his other business interests, was also working for the Medellin drugs cartel.

Bowe has since been jailed for drug trafficking, and Maharaj's legal team will argue that the murder of the Moo Youngs was the conclusion to a row over the laundering of drugs profits.

Maharaj's lawyers claim to have established that Mr Hosein, who was in debt to the Moo Youngs, went to the hotel on the day of the killings armed with a silenced automatic pistol. They say they have also traced a telephone call he made that day to the room where the murders were carried out.

Like Maharaj he is Trinidad-born, of Indian extraction, and, according to the court papers, used to pose as Maharaj when he lived in England, in order to gain free entry to racecourses.

Adam Hosein was questioned but not charged over the McKay killing, which stemmed from a bungled attempt to kidnap the wife of Rupert Murdoch. Instead the 55-year-old wife of the newspaper executive Alick McKay was abducted.

Adam was with his brother Nizamodeen on the day of the murder and, after being called as a prosecution witness, told the court that Arthur had been sick in bed that day.

Arthur, now 58, is still being held in Britain and treated for mental problems while Nizamodeen has been released and has returned to Trinidad, where Adam is also believed to be living after leaving America.

The main evidence against Maharaj was provided by Neville Butler, who claimed that he was forced into being an accomplice to the crime.

The prosecution claimed the double murder was carried out because Maharaj believed the Moo Youngs had cheated him in a $400,000 property deal.

Maharaj said he had been lured to the hotel by Butler on the morning of the killing for a supposed business meeting. He said he was back at his office by the time the murders took place but an alibi witness was not called at the trial.

Following Maharaj's conviction, investigators from William Penn Life Insurance - the Moo Youngs had taken out $1m life insurance policies - inquired into their deaths. They concluded that the killings were connected to a quarrel over the laundering of drugs money and that Maharaj had not been involved.

Following representations by Geoffrey Robertson QC, the leading British human rights lawyer, the Florida Supreme Court accepted that there were entirely unfair and improper procedures at his trial, during which the judge was arrested on bribery charges.

Two years ago a Channel 4 documentary, Murder in Room 1215, cast further doubt on the conviction and prompted a plea to the Supreme Court from more than 100 MPs.

Today the new evidence will be provided at a post-conviction hearing in Dade County, Florida. The judge has the power to order a re-trial.

After 11 years on death row, Maharaj now has nothing to his name except his cheap watch and a few changes of underwear. He once owned a five-bedroomed house with a swimming pool and two and a half acres in Fort Lauderdale.

He lived in Britain for 25 years after arriving from the Caribbean and set up a fruit import business which by the end of the 1960s was a multi-million pound concern.

Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth gamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

DBA

£40000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: DBA, London,...

SAP HCM/PAYROLL CONSULTANT

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP HCM/PAYROLL...

MS Dynamics NAV Developer

£45000 - £52000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Excellent oppor...

SAP GRC/SECURITY CONSULTANT

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP GRC/SECURIT...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game