BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
CHIEF Magistrate Emma Garo has refused to grant bail for accused Junior Mostyn Maenu’u (PUFF).
Ms Garo yesterday said she accepts that bail is a right guaranteed by the constitution and also accepts that presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt favours the granting of bail unless one of exceptions to granting bail exists.
She said the prosecution objects to bail being granted.
“I remind myself that the burden to prove that the defendant should be refused bail lies on the prosecution,” Garo said.
“I also remind myself that the standard to prove that the defendant should be refused bail is one of on the balance of probabilities,” she added.
Maenu’u had been bailed since 26 March 26, 2020, but was revoked by the court on September 3, 2020 upon application from prosecution.
Garo said Maenu’u is charged with discharging of firearm contrary to section 44 of the firearms and ammunition Act Cap 80.
That on March22, 2020 at upper Tinge Ridge, Honiara, did have in his possession ammunition to wit 1x9mm PARA Dag without being the holder of a current firearm licence.
And two other counts of possession of firearm without a firearm Licence contrary to section (2) (a) of the firearms and ammunition Act cap 80.
When he first appeared in court for those offences, he was granted bail by the Deputy Chief Magistrate with strict conditions.
However, on April 2, 2020 Director of Public Prosecutions applied to have the bail revoked.
The case has been mentioned several times before the court and on August 11, 2020 other charges were again filed against the accused for criminal trespass and two counts of intimidation.
The new offences were allegedly committed by the accused on July 4 and 13, 2020.
The allegations are the subject to the proceedings in criminal case no. 763 of 2020 led to the revocation of his bail by the court in September 2020.
Garo said the accused did not appeal the decision of this court on September 3 on the bail revocation.
She said that no evidence had been properly put before the court to enable it to determine judiciously, which way this bail application should fall.
“The Constitution is a living document.
“The Principles enshrined and embedded in the constitution and the legal principles governing the law on bail, cannot be argued interpreted or applied in a vacuum.
“With no evidence properly placed before this court, inescapable conclusion that must be reached by this court is that, this court cannot be satisfied on the flawed or lack of evidence being properly presented, that the circumstances of the defendant had changed since his bail was revoked on September 3, 2020, to justify the granting of bail.
“I further find that no evidence had been properly presented to show a change of circumstances in favor of granting bail to the defendant,” Garo said.
Therefore, she refused the bail against the defendant and adjourned the case to October 20 for mention and setting of new trial date.