Citing that he was deceived by prosecutors, Attorneys-at-Law Imtiaz Baig and Rizwaun Mohamed filed an application for bail pending appeal for their client Elton Harewood who was convicted a few months ago for trafficking 2,664 grams of cannabis. The bail application was heard last Friday by Justice Brassington Reynolds who granted Harewood bail pending appeal in the sum of $400,000.

Harewood, 50, of Lot 51 Castello Housing Scheme, La Penitence, Georgetown, who was a manager up until he was convicted, was accused of trafficking narcotics on Friday, May 17 at Tabatinga, Central Rupununi. He had pleaded not guilty to the allegation, and was unrepresented throughout his trial before Magistrate Alan Wilson at the Lethem Magistrates’ Court.

He was subsequently found guilty and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment together with a fine of $75,000.

In the application for bail pending appeal, Harewood’s lawyers contended that their client was deceived by prosecutors into believing that if he remained silent throughout his trial he would receive a noncustodial sentence and/or nothing would become of the matter as there was not sufficient evidence to yield a conviction.

According to the lawyers, “The prisoner (Harewood) was also persuaded by the prosecutors into believing that he had no need to retain an attorney-at-law. And that due to him having no antecedents he was unaware of the trial process and relied solely on the assurance of the prosecutors.”

The lawyers contended that due to the nature and complexities of the procedure of appeal coupled with a backlog in the judicial system, Harewood may serve the sentence imposed on him before the appeal is heard which would be an injustice to him. Their client, the lawyer asserted is desirous of having a fair trial by being represented by a lawyer and has no intention of absconding from the jurisdiction.

Claude Stuart, who made the application for bail on behalf of Harewood, believes that Harewood has a good case on appeal. As it is, the Court of Appeal is yet to fix a date for hearing this matter.


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