Embattled Magistrate may not be sanctioned for granting bail to murder accused

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

Murder accused: Neville Chandrawattie. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Magistrate Allan Wilson may not be sanctioned by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for granting $750,000 bail to murder accused Neville Chandrawattie – the alleged mastermind of the $93M gold heist in Port Kaituma from the El Dorado Gold Trading Company.

iNews was reliably informed that the Magistrate’s actions are not being viewed as corrupt by some of the JSC members, since he acted almost immediately and revoked the bail of Chandrawattie upon realizing what he did.

However, usually reliable legal sources informed iNews that the JSC may launch an inquiry into the matter, but it is highly doubtful that the Magistrate will be sanctioned.

Chandrawattie was granted bail on Wednesday, February 04 at the Matthew’s Ridge Magistrate’s Court. Chief Magistrate, Priya Sewnarine – Beharry intervened in the matter after it was brought to her attention by the chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP was informed of what was taking placeby Prosecutor Stephen Telford.

It should be noted that the charge of murder is an indictable offence, thus it is not bailable. A Magistrate does not have the power to grant bail to a murder accused; bail for such an offence is only done through the High Court and is solely up to the Judge’s discretion.

One legal expert told iNews that a number of things need to be taken into consideration before any sanction is brought against Magistrate Wilson, which includes his record that remains unblemished until now and his immediate action which lead to the accused being further remanded.

iNews was reliably informed that the Magistrate remains on the job, since he corrected his actions before adjourning Court for that day.

iNews was told that if the Court had adjourned or the Magistrate had left his bench then bail could not have been revoked. Taking those two facts into consideration, the legal source explained to iNews that it is highly unlikely that the Magistrate was involved in any corrupt practice as is being suggested by some.

Some citizens are calling for Magistrate Wilson’s immediate suspension; accusing him of being corrupt. Information received by iNews revealed that Chandrawattie’s family arrived at the Court, prepared with the bail money.

On December 24, 2013, Chandrawattie was charged with murder and has been remanded since. It is alleged that on April 21, 2013 at Port Kaituma, North West District he murdered Dharamchand Mangra.

The Court heard that the accused along with others on that day planned a robbery and during the course of that robbery, Mangra was shot and killed.

Chandrawattie is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Compton Richardson.

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