Isaac Awak, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste today. pleaded guilty to overstaying, and not guilty to the second charge.
According to the first charge, Awak arrived on the island on December 11, 2009 through the Melville Hall airport and was permitted to remain here for three weeks but failed to leave before the expiration of the permit. He also failed to present himself to the immigration department for an extension of stay.
According to the second charge, the defendant falsified a permit granted to him by the immigration department by changing the number of weeks he was allowed to stay in Dominica from three (3) to a thirteen (13).
In mitigation, Awak told the court that he was not flight risk and had just gotten a job at a seven-eleven minimart where he was told that he had the potential to obtain a work permit.
When asked why he did not renew his permit, Awak said that a Haitian friend had told him that if he did not know anyone at the immigration office he would not be granted additional stay.
Meanwhile, the police prosecutor countered Awak’s mitigation stating, “I’m still of the view that he is a flight risk…”
He listed some of the other reasons that he believed the defendant should not be granted bail.
“He was given time, he overstayed, and having him come here is a matter which is costly to the court…” the prosecutor noted.
Awak was bailed until January 28, 2010 when he will return to court for a trial on the matter.