Lawyer says client was tricked into claim­ing ganja found in city drug bust

Stabroek News - - Letters -

A labourer was yes­ter­day re­manded to prison af­ter he was charged with the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of 22 pounds of cannabis, which po­lice say he ad­mit­ted was his.

Seon Bartholomew stood in the court­room of act­ing Chief Mag­is­trate Sherdel Isaacs-Mar­cus, who read the charge to him in Ge­orge­town.

It is al­leged that Bartholomew, 45, on Jan­uary 9th, 2019, at Lyng Street, had 10,387 grammes (equiv­a­lent to 22.8 pounds) of cannabis for traf­fick­ing in his pos­ses­sion. Bartholomew, of Lot 35 Lyng Street, Ge­orge­town, de­nied the charge.

Po­lice prose­cu­tor Ad­duni In­niss later ob­jected to the ac­cused be­ing granted bail based on the na­ture, grav­ity and se­ri­ous­ness of the crime.

Ac­cord­ing to the prose­cu­tor, when the po­lice went to the premises they met two per­sons in the yard who claimed that they were just vis­i­tors. The po­lice then con­tacted Bartholomew, who also told the po­lice that the per­sons were vis­i­tors and that the nar­cotics that were found be­longed to him. As a re­sult, he was ar­rested and charged for the crime.

At­tor­ney Damian Da Silva, who rep­re­sented Bartholomew, told the court a dif­fer­ent story. Ac­cord­ing to the at­tor­ney, the state­ment al­legedly made by his client was ob­tained by trick­ery. Da Silva added that the nar­cotics were not found on his client; he said they were found un­der a stair­case lead­ing from the top flat of the two-storey home into the yard.

Da Silva then went on to present to the court what he stated were spe­cial rea­sons why his client ought to be granted rea­son­able bail. The court heard that there was the is­sue of mul­ti­ple oc­cu­pancy since sev­eral fam­i­lies re­side at the premises. He also cited the fact that the yard is not prop­erly fenced and its gate left open for per­sons to tra­verse in or­der to get to an­other street, the pre­ma­ture na­ture of the charge since the sub­stance was not tested to de­ter­mine if it was a nar­cotic, and the fact that the de­fen­dant was at the back yard when the nar­cotics were found.

Hav­ing heard from both the prose­cu­tor and the de­fence, the mag­is­trate stated that there was no spe­cial rea­son pre­sented for her to grant bail and she re­manded Bartholomew to prison and ad­journed the mat­ter un­til Jan­uary 22nd.

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