by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Superintendent Vannie Curwen respectfully disagrees with sentiment expressed by Anslem Clouden
- Issue of denial of bail is in refusal to accept photocopy of an original document as surety for bail
- Anslem Clouden is prepared to take matter to court of appeal
Head of the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force, Superintendent Vannie Curwen has responded to the concern expressed by Criminal Attorney Anslem Clouden questioning the authority of the police to deny bail, even after it was granted by a magistrate or presiding judge.
Clouden said there are cases where bail was denied by police after they refused to accept surety documents needed in granting of bail. He stated that the police, when vetting documents, from time to time refuse to grant bail on the basis that they require an original document and not a certified copy of the original.
He said the situation is further compounded since two-thirds of Grenadian land papers are saddled with a debt or mortgaged to a financial institution.
“Two-thirds of Grenadians land papers are encumbered to the bank or credit union and therefore when an accused person who presents a copy of that document to the police and the police refuse to accept it, the police has no authority whatsoever in law to determine the sufficiency of the surety.”
In response Superintendent, Vannie Curwen said he respectfully disagrees with the sentiment expressed by Clouden since sufficiency of the surety is not an issue for police. “Mr Clouden was questioning the fact that we are usurping the function of the magistrate and the judges. He spoke of the sufficiency of bail, but in truth, the sufficiency of bail is not an issue for the police. If the judge or the magistrate says $10,000 with two sureties, we will honour that.”
Curwen said the issue of denial of bail is in the refusal to accept a photocopy of an original document used as surety for bail. “You cannot present a photocopy of a land document to take bail for anybody, because that document is not authentic, it is a photocopy. Unless the police can vouch for the original then we will not accept the copy. In fact, the best document is an original document; outside of an original document, a certified copy of the original will be accepted.”
Clouden is prepared to take the matter to the court of appeal if it is not addressed.