Judge suspends decision of Magistrate to grant bail to Brazilians found with cocaine
High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon on Wednesday suspended the July 22, 2021, decision by Senior Magistrate Alex Moore to approve bail for two Brazilian men, who were busted with close to 1,000 pounds of cocaine.
The suspension was granted as the substantive challenge to the decision by Attorney General Anil Nandlall is still pending.
Moore had granted bail in the sum of $3 million each to Salem Nobrega De Alencar, 64, and Andre Luiz Pereira, 31.
The men were charged with illegal entry and trafficking of 453 kilogrammes of cocaine after their plane crash-landed at Orealla, Region Six, on May 20.
In an Application to the High Court, seeking a judicial review of the decision, Nandlall has asked for the granting of an order of certiorari, quashing the decision of Moore.
When the matter came up before Justice Kissoon on Wednesday, Nigel Hughes and Konyo Sandiford appeared for Andre Luiz Periera, while Nandlall appeared in person for the Commissioner of Police.
After hearing arguments from both the Attorney General and Mr. Hughes, Justice Kissoon upheld the submissions made by the Attorney General that the accused persons should remain in custody until the hearing and determination of the Judicial review challenge to Magistrate Moore’s grant of bail in the circumstances.
Kissoon granted an Interim Order staying and suspending the Order by Senior Magistrate Moore.
“It was emphasised by the Attorney General that the challenge to Magistrate Moore’s order granting bail was unprecedented, it raises matters of public legal importance and that it is in the public’s interest that the issues raised be fully ventilated and adjudicated upon by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
“That in those circumstances, justice would be best served if the order of the Magistrate is suspended and that the accused remain in custody until the hearing and determination of the case where the High Court would pronounce upon the legality of Magistrate Moore’s order granting bail,” a statement from the AG Chambers noted.
Nandlall is supported in his application to overturn the decision by several investigating ranks who submitted affidavits in support, including the prosecutor in the case, Inspector Orin Joseph.
According to Nandlall, the senior magistrate’s decision is in excess of his jurisdiction and there was a failure to satisfy or observe conditions or procedures required by law.
He contends that Magistrate Moore acted unreasonably, irregularly or improperly in exercising his discretion and there was an abuse of power.
Nandlall said Section 94 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act prohibits the grant of bail unless there are special reasons for so doing and that no such special reasons in law were proffered.
Nandlall said claims that the one of the Brazilian had contracted COVID-19 and the other was being abused by other inmates cannot be supported.