Sat, Dec 08, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Three US men told of charges in murder case

A SERIOUS REQUEST:Prosecutors asked that the court give the harshest possible sentence to Oren Shlomo Mayer, as they say he was the mastermind

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Police escort Oren Shlomo Mayer, center, who has been charged with the murder of Canadian Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, to the New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning on Sept. 18.

Photo: Wang Ting-chuan, Taipei Times

The three US nationals allegedly involved in the gruesome murder of a Canadian citizen after a drug-related dispute were yesterday notified of the details of the indictment in court.

They were also denied bail in a separate hearing last night, as they are considered to be a flight risk and because of the severe circumstances of the case.

As the indictment documents are written in Chinese, the suspects’ lawyers would translate them into English, while interpreters would be present at the hearings, New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Lin Hung-sung (林宏松) told the Taipei Times yesterday.

Prosecutors on Thursday charged Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer, 37, and American Odane Bent, 30, with the murder and dismemberment of Canadian Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body was found on a riverbank under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Aug. 22.

Bent was arrested on Aug. 25, while Mayer fled the country after the murder.

He was arrested in an apartment in Cainta in the Philippines on Sept. 5 and was sent back to Taiwan on Sept. 17.

Prosecutors have requested that the court hand Mayer the heaviest punishment possible, as evidence points to him as being the mastermind behind the plot, Lin said.

Two alleged accomplices, American Jason Hobbie, 46, and Taiwanese Wu Hsuan (吳宣), 21, also known as Dan Wu, were arrested and questioned by police in October, and were charged with aiding and abetting, the Central News Agency reported.

Mayer allegedly instructed Hobbie and Wu to purchase knives, fireworks and gasoline for the murder, and they might have helped to destroy evidence after the killing on Aug. 21.

“We are on solid ground regarding the indictment, having gathered sufficient evidence of their involvement in the killing,” Lin said, referring to telephone conversations, Line messages, surveillance footage and GPS records on the suspects’ cellphones, which pinpointed their locations on the night of the incident.

Investigators said that all five men knew each other, and that Ramgahan and Mayer were selling cannabis.

Prosecutors said that Mayer might have suspected that Ramgahan had become a police informant, as several cannabis buyers had been arrested.

Ramgahan allegedly wanted to quit the drug business and was not willing to share his list of clients, prosecutors said.

Charges are also pending against the four suspects for the sale and possession of cannabis, but it would be a separate case, Lin said.

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