Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs said two United National Congress (UNC) lawyers allegedly sought to make murder a bailable offence.
In a release issued by the AGLA, “Judge of the High Court today (Wednesday February 10th, reserved judgment in the matter of Akili Charles v The Attorney General.“
The Law Association was joined in the matter as an interested party.
The release further states, the Applicant, Akili Charles, was represented by Mr. Anand Ramlogan SC and Ms. Jayanti Lutchmedial. Counsel for the Attorney General was Mr. Fyard Hosein SC and Ms. Amirah Rahaman.
The Law Association was represented by Mr. Douglas Mendes SC.
The AGLA said this case is one of several cases in which Mr. Ramlogan initiated proceedings on behalf of his clients in the High Court to seek orders which would have the effect of curtailing the Parliament’s role in restricting bail for persons charged with gun crimes, murder and other serious offences.
The other cases are Ryan Reno, Justin Stuart Charles and Danielle St Omer.
In the proceedings today Mr. Ramlogan argued that Section 5(1) of the Bail Act should be struck down. Section 5(1) of the Bail Act prevents persons who are charged for murder from being granted bail.
This provision had been in place virtually unchanged since 1917 and was fully supported by Mr. Ramlogan when he acted as the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago as can be seen in his numerous parliamentary submissions on amendments to the Bail Act. If Mr. Ramlogan is successful in this case, the effect of this is that persons charged for murder could now apply for bail before a Court. Mr. Ramlogan also argued that should his client succeed, he should be paid vindicatory damages for the period he was held in remand.
AGLA further state, “in the event that Mr. Ramlogan’s client is successful the floodgates which prevent the grant of bail for persons charged with murder would be opened.”
“This no doubt, would result in a potentially serious upsurge in violent crimes and would undo much of the work that has been done so far to improve the criminal justice system.”
Counsel for the Attorney General objected to striking down the Bail Act on the grounds that it was proper for Parliament to prevent persons who are charged with murder from accessing bail.
“The Law Association, for different reasons, supported the argument that Section 5(1) of the Bail Act is unconstitutional and should be struck down.
The Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs awaits the judgment of the Court.”