AG’S NO BAIL FOR 120 DAYS PROPOSAL
On Sunday, AG Anand Ramlogan said he intends to take a Note to Cabinet to impose restrictions on the right to bail for anyone charged with committing a criminal offence involving the use of a firearm.
Commenting on this latest measure to combat crime, Mr. George noted that most murders in this country stem from gun-related crimes and agreed with the AG that this measure can act as a deterrent.
“If it is that you have legislation that says that look if you are charged and brought before the court for a gun-related offence then you are denied bail for 120 days, then I think it would certainly help as some sort of deterrent in terms of trying to arrest the escalating violence in the country.”
While bail is not granted in cases involving murder and treason, Mr. George explained that there have been many cases where persons have been totally acquitted of murder and walked free.
But he said this does not mean the acquitted can sue the State for infringement of rights.
“It could be said that yes, their rights have been infringed in that they were eventually acquitted, but remember acquittal is a process whereby the Judiciary and legal system function to come up with that decision. So you can’t claim that the State acted illegally, even though you ended up suffering an injustice. It’s an unfortunate conundrum but it’s not something that you can now turn back and sue for because the only way the result comes is when there is the verdict from the jury and the decision from the court that it’s either you are guilty or you are acquitted.”
However the Attorney continued that should an accused be freed because “there was absolutely no reason for the prosecution being initiated,” action can be taken against the State.
“The recourse you can have if it is there was absolutely no basis whatsoever for the prosecution being initiated, your recourse then is to file a civil action for damages in the High Court on the basis of malicious prosecution.”
Mr. George said there is a definite need for improvement in the country’s judicial system.