Haitian national Johnson Dosina has been ordered to pay a fine of $2,000 by 3 pm today or face four months imprisonment.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of overstaying brought against him before Magistrate Evalina Baptiste at the Roseau Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
According to the facts of the case, Dosina entered Dominica on May 1, 2008 and was permitted a month’s stay. However, he remained in Dominica until August 12, 2011 and was arrested while trying to regularize his status.
Dosina admitted to Police that he had not previously attempted to regularize because he was afraid of being sent back to Haiti, in spite of the fact that Haitian nationals had been granted amnesty following the earthquake of January 2010. Police prosecution recommended that he be removed from the state.
The defense argued that other than overstaying, Dosina had been a law-abiding and was gainfully employed and begged for the court’s leniency in the matter as the defendant had not wasted the court’s time by pleading guilty.
Magistrate Baptiste stated that she does not believe that Dosina hesitated to regularize his status because of fear, since all fear would have been negated by the amnesty. She levied the fine of $2,000 and emphasized that she was being lenient to afford the defendant the time to come up with the amount and noted his objection to being removed from the state.
She did however, grant bail despite the prosecution’s objection, in the sum of $9,000.
Royston Mitchell, Dosina’s employer, stood surety for the defendant.
Dosina is to report to the Roseau Police station every Tuesday between 7 am and 7 pm as condition of his bail.
The trial to hear the objection of his removal from the state is slated for November 14, 2011.