Ramjattan stands by his man on ‘no bail for gun crimes’
By Leroy Smith
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan during a recent interview with News Room noted that he supports comments made by Acting Commissioner of Police, David Ramnarine in relation to the granting of bail.
Ramjattan said there continue to be concerns from law enforcement authorities about the sentencing, charging and the granting of bail for certain offences and justly so.
“Yes, the Commissioner (ag) made some remarks, I am not going to criticise my Commissioner (ag) for making the remarks; as a matter of fact, I support it, because indeed he has shown me the case and it is very very concerning to me and worrisome and indeed having made the remark, lets hope now that unless they show special circumstances, they will not get bail in gun crimes and being in possession of unlicensed firearms” the minister said.
He told the News room that he is aware that there will be comments from time to time with respect to how the police, magistracy and judiciary work, but that is the process of democracy. The Minister said he is of the view that the remarks made by the Acting Commissioner of police will serve as an eye opener for the judiciary at large.
“There will be a collision course between the police who will not want bail to be granted and the defense council and the magistrates and the judges will have to make up their minds.”
He affirmed that “it is not an antagonistic disagreement but we are saying that under the law that was provided in relation to gun crimes” explaining that “there are a number of offenders who haven’t really set up special circumstances as to why they should get bail and why they’re getting bail and we now understand that whilst on bail, they are committing other crimes and then getting other charges and still getting bail on the second occasion.”
Ramjattan added that while the Defense Council; a position in which he once served will argue that trials will not be held in a timely manner, the Prosecutor “know at least they shouldn’t be getting bail.”
Turning his attention to the Amnesty period where persons were asked to submit unlicensed firearms and ammunition or face the law, Ramjattan said, “now they are not feeling the full brunt of the law because they committing crimes, getting charged with unlicensed firearms and still getting bail”. He said this “creates in the minds of the criminals that they can do it with impunity and that’s damaging.”
Ramnarine has lashed out at magistrates and judges for granting bail especially to persons found and charged with gun offences.