Magistracy moves to release prisoners remanded for petty crimes, some drug offences

In the aftermath of the devastation of the Camp Street prison, which left authorities scrambling to accommodate the roughly 1,000 inmates who had been housed there, the magistracy yesterday moved to release some prisoners being held for petty crimes.

Up to yesterday, many of the prisoners were still being held near the Lusignan Prison, where magistrates were sent to grant self-bail to those remanded for a range of petty crime. They were also to reduce or review bail for some who were remanded over possession of certain amounts of narcotics as well as other crimes.

Many of the city courts were unable to proceed with the cases of remanded prisoners yesterday due to their displacement in the aftermath of the prison’s destruction. As a result, these cases were adjourned.

However, city magistrates Leron Daly, Annette Singh and Allan Wilson as well as East Coast magistrates Peter Hugh and Zamillia Ally Seepaul were all escorted to the Lusignan facility.

Stabroek News was told that the magistrates were directed to grant self-bail for larceny-type offences, frauds, embezzlement, perjury, obtaining money, uttering forged documents, threatening language, damage to property, dangerous driving, smoking drugs, having utensils for smoking drugs, possession of cannabis below 50 grammes and possession of cocaine below 25 grammes.

This newspaper was also told that magistrates were directed to consider a bail reduction or a review in cases where the individual was charged with having between 51 grammes and 1 kilog of cannabis, 26 grammes and 1 kilog of cocaine, carnal knowledge (with conditions), and unlawful wounding (with conditions).

Magistrates are also expected to review or deny bail to persons charged with robberies, break and enter and larceny, possession of firearms and ammunition, and possession of narcotics above one kilogramme.

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