61-year-old journalist facing airport bomb scare charge

A 61-year-old journalist accused of raising a false bomb threat at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) was yesterday placed on $100,000 bail after he appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The allegation is that on September 19 at Timehri, East Bank Demerara, Michael Kirton gave false information to Hugh Jessemy, a Detective Assistant Superintendant causing him to use his lawful power, which he should not have done if the true state of facts reflecting the information that was given were known to him.

The man pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Michael Kirton

In presenting the facts of the case, Prosecutor Steven Telford told the court that the defendant was involved in a relationship with a particular female which ended on September 19.

After they parted ways, Telford stated, the woman gave the accused certain information and he subsequently  called Dr Roger Luncheon and the Chief Executive Officer of the airport informing them that there was a bomb planted at the premises.

Telford said the police acted on the report and an investigation was launched which later proved futile.

He then told the court that the accused who made himself available and took the police to the CJIA to look for the bomb, later admitted to the police that the report which he had made was not true.

The attorney representing the freelance journalist who resides at Lot 22 Back Road, Soesdyke asked that his client be placed on bail on the grounds that the accused who is well known to many is not a flight risk and he is not a holder of a passport.

Telford objected, arguing that it is the view of the prosecution that if the defendant is granted bail it is likely that he will flee the jurisdiction. He further requested that an early date be set for the commencement of the preliminary inquiry.

The magistrate denied the application made by prosecution, considering that while it is a serious offence it is bailable.

The magistrate also ordered the defendant to report weekly to the investigating rank at the Providence Police Station.

The matter was transferred to the Providence Police Station for today.

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