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Apr 10, 2015

Keyren Tzib Appears in Court for Bail Hearing

Keyren Tzib

On Easter Monday, twenty-four year old Coast Guard Seaman Keyren Tzib shot a senior Coast Guard Officer, Petty Officer Kurt Hyde, as they returned to base on board a vessel he was captaining. The sensational, bold shooting was witnessed by other members of the team on the boat. On Tuesday, following an investigation by Police, Tzib was charged for attempted murder, dangerous harm and the use of deadly means of harm, and remanded. Today Tzib’s attorney, Audrey Matura, applied to the Supreme Court for bail for her client, and a decision in that matter has been reserved until next week. Mike Rudon has been following this case and has an update from the Court.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Keyren Tzib was led into the courtroom of Justice Herbert Lord this morning, seeking bail for the charges of Attempted Murder, Dangerous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm. The background of this disturbing story is well known by this time. On Monday morning, Tzib was returning from a twelve day operation at sea with a team of Coast Guard, BDF, Police and Port Authority personnel. One hundred yards from shore, she allegedly turned her M-four assault rifle on the Captain, Kurt Hyde, and shot him once in the head. About an hour after they entered the courtroom this morning, we got the news that following an objection by Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis, bail had not yet been granted.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Keyren Tzib

“Usually if the Crown will object they send you a written objection. There is a procedure in law where you send in an objection…reasons for and provide evidence. The Crown cannot give the evidence from the floor…nobody can. That’s not how the Court operates. So it was a bit of a surprise. However the Judge said that we can come back this afternoon and argue our legal points why there should be the upholding of that objection or why she should be granted bail.”

 

At one-thirty this afternoon the parties returned to Court. The Crown objected to bail on the ground that he had only received the application on Thursday night, and did not have time to prepare. According to Willis, he was not able to ascertain the condition of Kurt Hyde, and only had second hand information that Hyde had been transferred to a US Naval Ship in Harbour for surgery on Sunday. For Matura, that was neither here nor there. She maintained that her client met the conditions for bail across the board.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“It was very simple. The 2014 amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act provides that a person who seeks bail can apply immediately. Before you had to give ten days to the DPP for every offence but now they are saying no matter what offence you are charged, under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act you can waive that ten days by showing to the Court that one, you are a person of good character and you have no previous conviction. We showed the good character of our client and we showed that she had no previous conviction…therefore the bail could have been heard today. That was the main contention of the Crown that they wanted not to have a hearing today because they wanted time to prepare to respond. For me it is very simple. I’ve worked at the D.P.P.’s Office and you have to work overnight, you have the resources of the State, they have access to the Police and anyone that they want to, to get an affidavit. An affidavit is one of the most basic things an attorney needs to be able to prepare and file. But they presented absolutely no evidence to the Court…you all were in Court, other than to ask for time. And so based on that I think it was clear cut. We presented all the reasons why my client should be given bail.”

 

Keyren Tzib

But Tzib was not granted bail today. After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Herbert Lord instructed that Keyron Tzib be given a psychiatric evaluation by the doctor at the Belize Central Prison, and that it be given to him by Wednesday, April fifteenth. He also instructed the Crown to obtain a full medical report on Kurt Hyde, and to present that by Wednesday. With those two documents, Justice Lord said, he would determine whether to grant bail to Tzib.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“The fact that the judge brought up something that he heard in the media and asked us to respond…our duty is to do anything the court asks…we need to respond, and so certain things were ordered. You all heard the order of the Court. We need to know what is the state of the victim and we also need to know what the medical state of the prisoner in this case is. And I guess Wednesday we will know what is the thinking of the Judge because remember bail is something that you must come to the Supreme Court in this case and it is in the discretion of the Judge when he hears all the evidence to decide what it will be. I can’t pre-empt what the decision will be. I can only state that our argument will remain that the best place for Ms. Tzib to be is outside with her family and we do not wish for her to be victimized any further. She has become a victim of many things, including aspersions, gossip, allegations, all sorts of things. She is a young woman, twenty-four years old, and we need to keep in mind that she has the right like everybody else to freedom, liberty and to a peaceful life.”

 

Freedom and liberty, at least in the short term, will be determined on Wednesday. A peaceful life, though, is far from a certainty for young Keyren Tzib, regardless of Wednesday’s outcome. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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