St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN);The opposition members of parliament gave full support to the Bail Amendment Act 2017 passed unanimously in the National Assembly on Wednesday (June 28), however they expressed concern about the constitutionality of persons granted bail being subject to 24 hour police surveillance through the wearing ankle monitors, considering they have not been convicted of a crime.

Opposition Senator Nigel Cary is of the view that the constant surveillance would encroach on citizens’ civil liberties. He also raised the question about the regulation of the monitoring devices. 

The Senator said he would have no objections to the ankle monitors being used in lieu of a jail sentence when persons are convicted, or as a condition for a convicted person being released from jail early.

Mover of the bill, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Vincent Byron said the ankle monitors would be used in cases where persons being considered for bail pose a danger to witnesses, or wider society, could obstruct the investigation in their case, or is likely to commit another crime while out on bail. He said a person could be denied bail in these circumstances and lose their liberty by being remanded to prison, therefore the option of wearing the ankle monitor as a condition of bail would not encroach on their fundamental rights and freedom. 

Attorney General Byron made it clear that the government will use whatever means are available to it in the administration of justice and the fight against crime in order to bring about a sense of safety and security in the federation.

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Author: LK HewlettEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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