Bail Bill Passed with Opposition Support

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – THE Bail (Amend­ment) Bill 2019 has been passed with the support of the Opposition.

It was passed yesterday just after 7 p.m. during a special sitting of the Lower House by 32 votes comprising 22 by the Government and ten by the Opposition. It needed a three-fifths majority to be passed.

This piece of legislation seeks to restrict bail for 120 days for a person who has a conviction for serious offences and charged again for one of them. It also restricts bail for someone being charged with a serious offence, is out on bail and gets charged for the same category of offence.

The offence for which no bail will be granted will include those that carry a ten year punishment concerning the Of­fences Against the Per­son Act, Dan­ger­ous Drugs Act, Kid­nap­ping Act, Sex­u­al Of­fences (against child) Act, Sex­u­al Of­fences Act, An­ti-Ter­ror­ism, Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons and Firearms Acts. Accused persons will have to prove “ex­cep­tion­al cir­cum­stances” in order to be granted bail, the legislation stipulates.

The debate saw quite a number of protesters outside the Parliament on Wrightson Road in Port-of-Spain including relatives of the fishermen from Orange Valley and Carli Bay who were killed in a pirate attack on the high seas on July 22.

Groups who want Attorney General Faris Al Rawi to bring legislation decriminalising marijuana were also present to have their voices heard.


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