Jun 29, 2017 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

 I believe accused persons before the court should be granted bail, with one exception – in violent robberies or rape. The victim may be terrorized, and if such a circumstance could be proven, then bail should be denied. Even when the prevailing situation finds acceptance in the denial of bail with crimes like illegal gun possession, the specific facts of the case should result in bail.
I wrote about farmers, deep in the interior, who keep illegal guns for protection. Recently, a 65-year-old Amerindian farmer was given three years for illegal possession of a firearm. His wife was in a coma in the hospital. When she recovered, she heard the news and died. The farmer is a diabetic patient and doesn’t know his wife is dead. The fear is that when he gets the news, he may die too. After reading my column on this elderly fellow, Sase Gunraj of the PPP, told me he applied for bail in the High Court and it was denied.
Funny how power destroys the mind. A PPP lawyer read that column and applied for bail. No one from the glorious APNU+AFC partnership thought of asking one of their colleagues outside of government to seek bail for the man. But that very APNU+AFC partnership is going to go to the Amerindian people in the 2018 local government elections and the 2020 general elections and ask for their votes.
freddie-kissoon-300x273I like the words I read the other day from President Granger. He said the 2018 local government election results will indicate how the citizenry feel about the government’s performance. In other words, the president says his party will be running in 2018 to retain the City Council. Really, life is funny in this hell hole. Anyway, back to bail and cocaine
Two race drivers were put on $5M bail each, granted by the High Court, for alleged trafficking in cocaine. Days after, Keon Aaron was denied bail by a magistrate for alleged trafficking in 2 pounds of cocaine. Maybe even a jackass living in Guyana would conclude that this country does not make sense. If you can be charged for possession of 200 pounds of cocaine, and be bailed, then why not for 2 pounds? A lawyer, for the purpose of this column, told me the drug law does not permit the lower court the latitude of granting bail.
I can’t help but be cynical and facetious about President Desmond Hoyte. Was he smoking “Congo Pump” when he approved that law? Why can’t an accused before a lower court get bail for alleged cocaine trafficking but could do so in the High Court? The official philosopher of the Holy Roman Empire, Saint Aquinas, once wrote that every action in life has a logical underpinning. There isn’t anything in Guyana that has a logical foundation.
Take for example, SOCU. It applied for a warrant in open court to search the home of Anil Nandlall. The magistrate then said in open court; “alright, come back for it later.” All of this was done in view of a full courtroom. Someone informed the PPP about the warrant and the search was not pursued. Another lawyer, for the purpose of this column, told me that SOCU could go to the home of a magistrate to get a search warrant. But even if SOCU erred, SOCU officials are not trained lawyers with experience in the court room. Could the magistrate have acted otherwise by clearing the court room? Just asking!
The funny thing about Guyana is the juxtaposition of opposites. Those who studied Hegel and Marx may want to call this the working out of the dialectics. The same time the bail for the accused in 187 pounds cocaine case was granted and bail refused in the 2-pound cocaine matter made the news, the SOCU arrest warrant fiasco hit the headlines too. And in the news right at that moment was the renting of houses for two ministers at the cost of $500,000 monthly.
What do the juxtapositions reveal? When it comes to modernizing post-colonial Guyana, the State acts in strange ways. We have primitive laws in relation to certain crimes, we have policemen that do not know about court procedures, but we also have ruling politicians that the State ensures are treated nicely.
I will end on a note that will easily be interpreted as cynicism, but I am dead serious. By way of this column, I am informing the Prime Minister and the President that my home is up for rental. Please gentlemen, I need that half a million a month.