A construction worker in Lethem was charged with possession of a single cartridge. This is not a typographical mistake – yes, one cartridge. This newspaper reported that when the case came up, the prosecutor didn’t offer any details of the circumstances. Bail was denied. Another person from the interior this week appeared in front of the same magistrate. Now read on and see if this country is a viable society
A miner of Port Kaituma was allegedly found with a bag of ammunition which contained the following; twenty-two 9mm ammunition, .38 live ammunition, and two other types of armaments. In the case where the accused was charged with one bullet, the prosecutor did not explain to the court the facts that led to the arrest, but Magistrate McLennan still refused bail. In the situation with the Port Kaituma miner, the prosecutor told the same magistrate that acting on a tip-off, the police searched his hotel room in his presence and found the ‘hardware.’
The magistrate set bail at $200,000. I have no problem with people getting bail. This man allegedly had a bagful of assorted ammunition in his hotel suite and was allowed his freedom after posting $200,000 but the very magistrate thought that possession of a single cartridge was a more complex case, so she refused bail. My daughter was three years old when an action series was popular on television named MacGyver. She loved MacGyver. Everyone loved MacGyver because of what he could do –make something out of nothing.
It was absolutely hilarious to watch how MacGyver got out of situations where James Bond would have had no chance of staying alive. I saw one episode in which MacGyver was imprisoned in a place where escape was impossible. But he found an old chewing gum and with some spit, he created an inflammable liquid; the ensuring fire burnt the place down and he ran out. I am wondering whether that Lethem construction worker was not perceived as a MacGyver-like character where with a single cartridge, he could open it, put some saliva inside, go into a bank and threaten to burn it down if they didn’t give him the bank notes.
These awful discrepancies in bail assignments and jail sentences somehow never find their way on top of the desk of the Bar Association office holders. But it would make sense why they wouldn’t. Here is why.
I was jogging in the National Park and this lawyer, who is a personal friend, told me of the horrible mistreatment of his client by a magistrate. I agreed to write about it. He exclaimed; “no, no. Freddie, I have to appear in front that woman; I have to protect my clients.” This explains why a magistrate could do any crazy thing on the bench but the people who comprise the Bar Association will remain reticent. Lawyers are terribly afraid to upset magistrates and judges.
This is Guyana where you find bizarre things that no other country will experience. A magistrate freed one of several accused in a gold smuggling case by using the nursery rhythm, ‘eeny meeny miny moe’. This same magistrate in the middle of a trial got up from his seat, yelled out, “my wife hassar curry is finished cooking, I going home to eat,” and he just left the cases in front of him. The Bar Association never reported him.
The nihilism just doesn’t stop. The country was shocked by the philistine display of the PPP, when they actually tried to stop President Granger from speaking by the unfurling of placards and tumultuous heckling. Most people felt that it was the ultimate disrespect shown to Parliament. But who said Guyana learnt from that immoral circus. Each time a particular opposition City Councillor gets up to speak, he is drowned out by the APNU+AFC Councillors. It happens all the time. An APNU+AFC councillor thought the man had endured enough philistinism from his colleagues, so he appealed to them to let him enjoy his right to speak.
The lead heckler would have none of this. But here is the frightening part. She said he should not be allowed to speak, because each time he takes to the floor he says the wrong things and badmouths the Council’s achievements. In other words, the APNU+AFC-dominated Council now decides what elected representatives from the Opposition should say or they will be given the treatment the parliamentary opposition gave the President a few weeks ago. In the RDC of Region 5, earlier this year, the disruptive behaviour became morbid. But then again, the entire country is an ocean of morbidity.
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