Court Hears Principal’s Urgent Bail Application

The Principal of Napangasale Secondary School on Tongoa has filed an Urgent Bail Application before the Supreme Court yesterday.

The application was heard behind closed doors in chambers with the counsels and the judge.

The defendant is being represented by Rollanson Wille from Timakata and Associates Lawyers.

In his sworn statement, the principal who was remanded after allegations that he raped one of his students said he needed to get bail as a matter of urgency because he needed to make necessary arrangements for someone to take care of the school while awaiting the hearing over the allegations levelled against him.

He said that he is one of the chiefs at Bongabonga Village on Tongoa and he is ready to be remanded on bail with strict conditions.

In his sworn statement, he promised to comply with whatever condition the court may consider necessary.

The accused principal said he understood the seriousness of his offending and the circumstances in which he is in now and do not wish or intend to worsen his current situation but to obey and comply to the conditions the court impose.

He also confirmed that he will return to the court on whatever date the court shall put to hear his case and he promised not to interfere with the prosecution witnesses.

Mr Willie argued that the case needed to be heard as soon as possible as the school has open its doors without a school principal.

The application has been supported by another sworn statement from an individual who resides at Blandiere Estate who says he is ready to accommodate the defendant during his stay in Port Vila until his court date.

The urgent bail application has serious conditions. These include a restraining order of 50 meters away from complainant’s place of residence, employment or person.

The accused principal said he would be happy not to leave Efate and agreed to report to the Central Police Station every week between 8am to 4pm.

He stated that should there be a breach of any of the bail conditions he will be arrested and brought before the court.

Mr. Willie supported his application with certain provisions, including section 60, 62 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Article 5 (1) (i)of the Constitution that provides the defendant’s fundamental rights to the presumption of innocence.

He stated that in the criminal justice system, the one golden thread in the web is that the duty is upon the public prosecutor to prove the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

He further submitted that the other fundamental rights of protection of the law, liberty and freedom of movement are also paramount considerations in the granting of bail as the fundamental rights are enshrined by the Constitution and guaranteed by his client.

Mr. Willie said if the Public Prosecutor raises serious concerns and factors objecting to bail such concerns can be adequately addressed by the imposition of strict conditions.

He said that his client has an unblemished past record and is a resourceful and constructive member of his community and he is ready to be remanded on bail with whatever strict conditions the court may see fit for his client. The prosecution opposed the application.

A hearing date is yet to be set.

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