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Jun 13, 2017

Judge Rules No Bail for Orlando Vera; Hearing Date Set

Orlando Vera

Last week Friday, Supreme Court Judge, Hon, Justice Herbert Lord heard a bail application for convicted prisoner, Orlando Vera, the Belize Police Department Ballistic Examiner. On June first, 2017 Vera was convicted for the offense of abetment to pervert the course of justice when he was recorded by a Belmopan businessman, Michael Modiri.  In the recording, Vera is heard telling the Modiri that he could help him win his gun case by tampering with evidence to cause the prosecution’s case to crumble.  Prior to that, on June eighth, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith agreed with the Director of Public Prosecutions that the offense for which Vera was convicted was of a very serious nature and instead of imposing a fine for the first time offender; she sentenced him to two years imprisonment.  Vera’s attorney, Anthony Sylvester who has already appealed the conviction and sentence, took Vera’s case to the Supreme Court in a hope that bail will be granted to him expeditiously as he awaits his inferior appeal.  But this afternoon, Judge Lord gave his oral ruling in the matter.  While he said he took into consideration what both sides had to say, Justice Lord was of the view that this is not an extreme case for the court to act on bail.  Sylvester had submitted that the appeal hearing will heard in twelve months; and that his client is expected to have a successful appeal since it could result in a fine.  But Judge Lord noted that the bail application from June tenth, 2017 should be ready in a few weeks or in a month at the latest.  He was also of the view that Sylvester did not present any special reasons why Vera should be granted bail at this time and so he refused the application. With that, Vera was further remanded into custody.  Judge Lord ended his ruling by ordering that the note of evidence is to be before the court by June twenty-third, 2017.  Submissions are to be done before June thirtieth, 2017 and a date for his hearing to be set for July sixth, 2017 in Belize City.  He further said that if the deadlines are not met, Sylvester can reapply for bail at the Supreme Court.

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