I am without a doubt convinced that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is a transformer, our own local version of 'Bumble Bee'. As the current Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is in his glee, using non-bailable law such as the Anti Gang Act to detain alleged criminals. But this was the same Anand Ramlogan who wrote a long diatribe against the anti kidnapping bill and it's consequences re: it being a non bailable offence. Now Anand is singing a totally different tune. But you see unlike most Trinidadians my memory eh short! I WILL HIT YOU FOR SIX RAMLOGAN. SEE THE FOLLOWING TRINIDAD GUARDIAN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY NONE OTHER, THE INCUMBENT ATTORNEY GENERAL ANAND RAMLOGAN ON THE 1ST AUGUST 2004!
"Manning’s knee-jerk crime plan" - by ANAND RAMLOGAN (Before being appointed Attorney General and suffering from a delusional swelling of the male part!)
PM Manning unveiled his great crime plan last week. It was greeted with a series of brutal murders and demands for “less talk, more action.” The headline grabber was the “no bail for kidnappers” strategy.
This knee-jerk legislative reaction to what is admittedly a frightening problem is one that must be cautiously studied. The erosion of human rights and the enlargement of State power (that can later be misused and abused) normally take place in the height of a crisis, with the full support of the people, because rational thought is overwhelmed by panic and fear. (In 2004 who would have thought that Anand in one of his editorials to the Guardian was simply describing the state in which he would have the country when he is appointed Attorney General. These words adequately describes the People's Partnership Government's state of emergency)
At present, kidnapping is a criminal offence punishable by life imprisonment. Though it is a bailable offence, magistrates have the power to refuse bail under the Bail Act, because of the seriousness of the offence and its prevalence in society.
Carlos Manickchand and his gang were, for example, refused bail, as have many others who have been charged for kidnapping. Persons charged for car theft and drug offences have routinely been refused bail by magistrates.
A magistrate can set a high bail that is beyond the reach of the accused person, and he would not be out the following morning. We see this happening every day in our courts, so why all the fuss now? (Why all the fuss indeed Anand? Why did your government call a state of emergency to detain criminals when you knew before you even became Attorney General that a magistrate can set a high bail if need be?)
If persons charged with kidnapping offences are being released on bail too frequently, then perhaps our magistrates are setting bail too low, and the Chief Justice needs to issue some guidelines. (I GUESS THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR ANY CRIMINAL OFFENCE WHICH OUR MAGISTRATES MAY HAVE BEEN SETTING BAIL TOO LOW FOR)
Surely, the seriousness and prevalence of the offence must weigh heavily in the magistrate's mind and tilt the scales towards imposition of onerous bail conditions in appropriate cases.
There are very few non-bailable offences in our law. These are: murder, treason, piracy or hijacking, and any offence for which the penalty is death. A non-bailable offence means that once arrested and charged, you will remain behind bars until your trial, regardless of the paucity or strength of the evidence against you.
It could easily be misused and abused, because the judiciary would have no power to grant bail, and the ultimate power to deprive a citizen of his liberty is given to the police, who can charge on the flimsiest basis.
It places the liberty of citizens in the hands of the police, because once someone is charged for a non-bailable offence, he/she would be amputated from society and incarcerated like a convicted criminal.
Pressing the right buttons, a drug dealer could easily manipulate the police service to get rid of competitors, so that he could control their turf.
If every time a particular crime increases we allow our politicians to fool us with the knee-jerk reaction of new legislation to make the offence non-bailable, then car theft, robbery with violence and drug offences should all be non-bailable.
The trauma inflicted on a victim, whose home is robbed while his/her children are tied and beaten to near death, is not any less than that of a parent whose child is kidnapped. It's no use making qualitative distinctions in the effects of serious crimes.
It is a serious thing for the State to deny an accused bail in circumstances where the backlog of criminal cases in the magistrates’ court system means that an innocent man could be jailed for several years before he is even given an opportunity to prove his innocence. (YET STILL YOU AND GIBBS BOASTING OF HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU HAVE DETAINED UNDER THIS FARCICAL STATE OF STUPIDITY ....OH SHUCKS AH MEAN STATE OF EMERGENCY. ARE THESE ALLEGED CRIMINALS GOING TO BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE MR. TRANSFORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL?)
By the time he wins his case, his whole life is ruined. The main weapon in the fight against crime is an efficient and expeditious system of criminal justice. (NOTICE IN 2004 ANAND RAMLOGAN WAS NOT ESPOUSING NOR WAS HE PROMOTING ANY STATE OF EMERGENCY!)
Part of what motivates kidnappers on bail to commit more crimes is the long delay in trying and convicting them. We are all falling into a trap cleverly set by a clueless PNM. (SEEMS THE ONLY TRAP WE FELL FOR IS VOTING FOR A DECEITFUL LYING GOVERNMENT)
The problem is not the lack of laws, but rather the lack of penetrating policing and enforcement of the existing laws.
“No bail for kidnappers” will deflect the nation's attention from the incompetence of the Government, the impotence of the police, as the spotlight once again shifts to Panday. If he refuses to support this amendment, the nation would be so busy “ponging” and “cussin'” him, that no one will have time to focus on the real issue of the Government's inability to deal with crime. (I WONDER WHOSE INCOMPETENCE ANAND RAMLOGAN IS CURRENTLY DEFLECTING? OH GOSH THEY CUSS PANDAY, YOU MEAN LIKE HOW YOU CUSSING ROWLEY FOR CRITICIZING YOUR ILLEGAL STATE OF EMERGENCY? EH ANDAND?)
The mad rush to make new laws every time we have a problem is a reflection of the idle and bankrupt intellectual state of the PNM. The unthinking rush to embrace and welcome this “no bail policy” for kidnapping might be a reflection of our desperation and helplessness.
There's no point in making new laws when the present ones aren't properly utilised. (NOR IS THERE ANY POINT IN CALLING A STATE OF EMERGENCY WHEN LAWS SUCH AS THE ANTI GANG ACT, FIRE ARMS ACT AND THE FINANCIAL ACT AREN'T BEING PROPERLY UTILISED)