The Vincentian police officer who allegedly kidnapped and raped a 13-year-old girl has been granted bail. But contrary to reports making the rounds on social media today (Saturday) he has not been released from his prison cell at the Police Headquarters.
The accused is represented by attorney John Fuller who argued for the defendant’s bail in the High Court Friday morning.
Attorney Fuller says his client was given 60 thousand dollars’ bail and must pay 20 thousand dollars cash as a condition.
But OBSERVER media’s Martina Johnson reports that the man is unable to meet the required payment and therefore must remain in custody. He also needed two Antiguan sureties to sign on his behalf.
Fuller dismisses a statement making the rounds on social media as defamatory and says the origin of said statement should be investigated and the parties summoned to court for contempt and defamation.
The statement to which he refers suggests collusion and corruption between the police and judiciary with respect to the granting of bail.
According to Fuller, his client made arrangements to leave the country before the sex allegations were made. He says the man travelled to St Vincent to visit his ailing mother before it was too late.
He stresses that his client had not been asked to go into custody nor charged prior to his departure from Antigua & Barbuda.
And, he also points out that the warrant for his client’s arrest came five days after his departure. The lawyer argues that it was his client who communicated with the authorities in St Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda, and voluntarily returned to Antigua and Barbuda to face the allegations.
Fuller is urging political parties and other groups to be responsible in their comments about the matter.
The officer’s committal date is slated for the 22nd of February next year before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh. His name has been withheld since he is not convicted of the crimes under the Sexual Offences Act.
Attorney Fuller says the accused left the island to care for his ailing mother.
He also points out that the warrant for his client’s arrest came five days after his departure.
The officer’s committal date is slated for the 22nd of February next year before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh.