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Tougher to get bail

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Tougher to get bail

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The coalition People’s Partnership government is moving to tighten the conditions under which bail would be provided to persons with Attorney General Anand Ramlogan saying the new measures would result in bail being denied for 120 days to anyone accused and charged with a violent crime.
The government said the amendment to the Bail Act would also seek to deny bail to persons charged with sexual offences invol­ving a child or young person.
“One strike and you are out. No bail,” Ramlogan told legislators on Friday as he piloted the new measures that would require a three-fifths majority vote for passage. But Opposition Legislator, Colm Imbert has signalled that the opposition would not support the move.
“This bill is going to incarcerate a person who is accused of a crime,” he said, reminding the Parliament that “when you are charged you are still presumed to be innocent”.
Moreover, Imbert said that Ramlogan was not prepared to present the legislation and recalled the recent statement by a senior official of the prison service here that in the remand yard built to accommodate 655 people now housed 1 156 people.
Ramlogan said Parliament had been slow to react to the crime situation and unresponsive to the cries of frustration from citizens. He said if one gang penetrated a community it became difficult for police to get information, as the gang would be secreted in the bosom of the community.