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Bail hearings resume despite lockdown

Bail hearings in the Supreme Court have resumed despite orders under the state of emergency (S.O.E.) prohibiting gatherings of more than five people.

On Thursday, keeping people in a Courtroom to the mandatory five was impossible in one case, where three defendants were jointly charged. They had to appear together for a bail hearing.

The men accused of possession of narcotics, namely methamphetamine, were represented by two different defence lawyers and two prosecutors were also present.

People inside the Courtroom did not include the Court Registrar, the presiding Judge, Police officers and members of the media.  

Other cases called in the Supreme Court, where an individual is charged, had strict instructions that only the lawyers were allowed to sit in. 

An attempt was made to get an official comment from the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.).

But according to officials, who were not authorised to speak to the media, the Court proceedings resumed last Thursday on a case-by-case basis. The officials said the matters being called are only bail hearings. 

Down at the District Court and the Land and Titles Court there were no court cases.

There was no official notice from the M.J.C.A. to inform members of the public that the Court has resumed its operation. 

Court proceedings had been postponed since March 23 when the S.O.E. preventative measures for COVID-19 was declared. 

A notice from the Ministry at the time stated that the Court cases have been postponed until further notice. 

It added that probation and parole services as well as maintenance section were closed for that period. 

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