Friday, March 27, 2009

Where the system continues to fail us!

Ministry Of Home Affairs: The Criminal Justice System has once again thwarted the efforts of the Law Enforcement Agencies to crack down on the narco-traffickers, the illegal arms traders as well as those involved in gun crimes. In a matter of CANU vs Gaston Samuels and Dwayne O’Neil, two Jamaicans who were charged on April 25, 2008 for Trafficking in Narcotics, bail in the sum of $150,000 was granted to each of the two defendants in the High Court on September 19, 2008.
Prior to the granting of bail, the defendants appeared in Court in July 22, 2008, and a postponement was granted to November 10, 2008 to secure counsel and the matter was set for trial for March 18, 2009.
When the matter was called on that day, neither the defendants nor their Counsel, who had secured bail for them appeared in Court.
Instead, a female purporting to be the Bailor appeared and informed the Court that she could not say anything about the whereabouts of the defendants.

According to the Section 93 of the Narcotic Act of 1988, “Any person arrested for an offence against Part II shall not, unless there are special reasons for so doing, which shall be recorded in writing, be admitted to bail, by any Court, but he shall be tried within a reasonable time.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs is of the view that there were no “special reasons” to grant the two accused bail nor could it be deemed unreasonable to have further incarcerated the two up to the date of their trail fixed for March 18, 2009.
“The hallowed principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and the granting of pre-trail liberty have once again been violated by those who break the law. Yet no one in the legal profession or the Guyana Bar Association says anything when such incidents occur,”

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