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Jan 5, 2012

Bail with a mandatory bank statement?

Michael Peyrefitte

Still on the courts, there’s a new policy at the Magistrate’s Court that adds extra red tape to the process of posting bail. It requires persons signing sureties for accused offenders to present an assortment of documents, including a bank statement before they are approved. It is likely to result in more suspects being sent to prison because they cannot meet bail while the business of bondsmen is also expected to increase. The new measure is being questioned and there have been complaints that it is unlawful and unnecessary. So today News Five sought a legal position on the matter and attorney Michael Peyrefitte told us that while the court has the power to implement such measures, it may not be very effective.

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney

“The law gives the court the power to satisfy itself that those people who are signing as sureties have the means to satisfy the court if the person does not show up for trial. So all the court is trying to do, I can suspect, is to make sure that those who come to sign bail for others have the ability to satisfy the bail if the person does not show up for trial. Now we can debate whether or not that is a practical or a good thing or not but certainly the court has within its powers the ability to do that.”

Delahnie Bain

“So this new measure is just another security feature.”

Michael Peyrefitte

“Right, obviously the Magistrates Court feels like people are just coming in to sign as sureties but they don’t have the ability to pay if the person doesn’t turn up for court. And maybe people are now not turning up for court—I don’t know what circumstances led to that but the court now requires a phone number, they require a job letter, they require a bank account statement. Now of course, I don’t think a person has to have a job to be able to have the ability to sign as surety for a person. I don’t know that a bank statement necessarily indicates that the person will satisfy the bail. I mean if the bail is set at three thousand and I have a bank statement that says I have four thousand but court takes about six months before it comes to trial; who is to say that by the time trial comes along I won’t withdraw the money from the bank? So you can debate whether or not it is iron clad. But clearly the court can do whatever it thinks is necessary and reasonable to satisfy itself that the people who are signing on as sureties have the means to pay the court if indeed the accused person doesn’t show up for trial.”

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3 Responses for “Bail with a mandatory bank statement?”

  1. crying for peace says:

    This country is taking advantage of poor people. The prison will soon be over crowded as even working people like myself won’t be able to meet criteria. You want to see who has the money in their bank account ask the government to show their statements.

  2. wicho says:

    Ye! who will benefit from this!? someone will be fulling their pockets! more customers for the prison!

  3. S@GVILLE says:

    Tired of the damn goverment,now they are trying to impliment all types of stuff to make money off poor people. What they need to do is stop giving the rich all the perks and discounts.We all know that only people that has money in Belize can get ahead.I am tired of those police taking away people’s hard earned money.They don’t know what some people have to go through to get that money.If you are poor and live in the counrty of Belize it is not for you,because we cry and suffer and no one helps us.The people that were placed there to look after our affairs are too busy grabbing what they can .It is ashame because people always talk and no one ever listens.We need to stop the talking and take back our country.It is ours, not the goverment’s.The thing with Belizeans we talk too much,and i know the talking doesn’t help anything. Look at the streets for example,every morning someone calls in on a talk show and speak about it.Talking didn’t get any street repaired.So it makes no sense if we talk because nothing is still being done.I know that dean barrow is not deaf so what is the problem.I am sorry for anyone that i know who goes to jail because i am not bailing them out because no one is going to take what i worked hard for.There is a fuel crisis in LAGOS, NIGERIA right now. I saw a sign that a guy had up and this is what it said,”ONE DAY THE POOR WILL HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO EAT BUT THE RICH.” That is what will happen in Belize because day by day they are taking our freedom from us.We need to get prepared for 2012 because we thought 2011 was bad,just look at the Sht that will happen this year.God bless Belize and all the people that are feeling the burn,to those that are causing this God bless them too because they need it. One Love and always keep your heads up.God is not on earth so we shouldn’t bow down to anyone.

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