A civil servant, who has been slapped with five counts of forgery of Commonwealth of Dominica birth certificates in the ongoing passport scam investigations, was today granted $30,000 bail in a Magistrate’s Court in Roseau.
Kimana James was granted bail by Magistrate Candia George who considered the defendant’s medical condition and holes in the prosecution’s argument.
The prosecution objected to bail, saying: “The prosecution will need some time to continue investigations without hindrance. We believe that the defendant will interfere with investigation and deter the course of justice if given bail.”
However, James’ lawyer Wayne Norde pointed out that the police prosecution was misleading the court by not indicating what transpired while his client was kept in their custody.
Norde, while handing a medical report to Magistrate George, indicated that James collapsed once at the police headquarters and was sent home twice during the period of her incarceration.
“If the prosecution could trust the defendant on two occasions after she had been in their custody, they have no reason not to trust her now, ” Norde told the court.
In handing down the decision to grant bail, Magistrate George pointed out that the prosecution’s justification that the defendant would interfere with ongoing investigation if given bail was unfounded.
“It is something (interfering with investigations) she could have done if she wanted to from Thursday to today,” George said.
Sonia Williams of Castle Comfort, the defendant’s aunt, stood as surety for her bail.
James is expected to surrender her passport to police as the only condition attached to the bail.
The preliminary inquiry for this matter is set for October 21.
James is the third civil servant charged in relation to the ongoing passport scam investigations.
Nash Mitchell and Lyndon Marie have been charged with 14 counts of forgery, including the possession and uttering of forged Commonwealth of Dominica passports and birth certificates.
The crimes allegedly took place between November 11, 2005 and March 31, 2011 and already 40 forged passports have been reportedly identified by police.
The men were denied bail.
Police believe there are more and that the alleged passport scam has placed Dominica’s sovereignty into the focus of the international community with consequences for legitimate passport holders.
Several other persons are being investigated for the crime. If found guilty perpetrators could serve a maximum of 25 years imprisonment.