The “absence of a specific statute or decisional law prohibiting” theextension of a criminal appearance bond to cover another defendant hasleft the Criminal Court “C” to apply “divine wisdom of God and logicaldeduction analysis” that spared “Big Boy One” Dr. Eugene Shannon fromjail opposed to prosecutors’ demands.
“… [This] Court guided by the divine wisdom of God and logicaldeduction analysis will proceed to rule accordingly. This Court saysthe primary objective of a Criminal Appearance Bond is to ensure theday – to – day appearance of an accused person for the purpose of ofpublic justice and this objective may be achieved without necessarilyposting a Criminal Appearance Bond”, Judge YammieQuiquiGbeisay ruledTuesday, 10 January.
The former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Dr. Shannon who GlobalWitness claimed received US$250,000 in bribes out of US$950,000offered several officials, had requested the Court last week toinclude him on defendant Sherman’s US$1.5m bond upon being arrestedfor economic sabotage.
But Judge YamieQuiquiGbeisay, Sr. said defendant Shannon did notcite a specific law that implies that a defendant, who is accused ofthe same crimes can be added to a bond already approved in favor of other defendants, who were indicted before the indictee that ismaking the request had been charged.
Prosecutors were contesting Dr. Shannon’s request to be included onSherman’s criminal appearance bond that was earlier filed when he (Dr.Shannon) had not yet been charged. He and former Minister of State for Finance, Economic and LegalAffairs Mr. Morris Saytumah and Public Procurement and Concession andCommission Chairman Mr. Willie belleh were the three latest officialsindicted for economic sabotage, bribery, criminal conspiracy, criminalsolicitation and criminal facilitation.
Prosecutors asked the court to dismiss defendant Shannon’s request tobe included on the bond and order his arrest to be sent to common jailpending the filing of a criminal appearance bond. Prosecution arguedthat the bond had already been approved by the Court at a timedefendant Shannon had not been charged or indicted.
But the Court also observed that prosecutors failed to cite a specificreliance or legal authority which says or implies that a defendant whois accused of the same crime and later charged and indicted is notallowed to benefit from the bond which has already been approved bythe Court at the time the defendant [who makes the request] had notbeen charged.
“In the mind of the Court the failure of both parties to state thelaw, be it in this jurisdiction or under the receptive statue is aclear indication that this issue is a novelty in our jurisdiction,”Judge Gbeisay ruled.
He said it was by the parity of reasoning that the statute gives theJudge discretional power to release an accused on its ownrecognizance or to other person of moral influence, if he is satisfiedthat the accused will appear when needed.
By Winston W. Parley