DPP mull over amendment of bailout law

02nd March 2018
HOT POTATO: Crime suspects released on bail are a menace to the society Source:The Midweek Sun

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says there is need to amend bailout laws regarding offenders who commit serious crimes like rape and murder. This comes after DPP took into consideration the outcry of Batswana that such offenders should be locked away until their trials are concluded. Speaking to The Midweek Sun this week, DPP Director Stephen Tiroyakgosi said the public’s concern is appreciated and there may be need to amend the law to ensure that offenders are not easily granted bail.

He however noted that prosecutors are mere implementers of the law and also laws passed must first pass the constitutional test. As the DPP, he said they have a duty to oppose bail in all cases where in their opinion, they feel that bail should not be granted. However the final decision as to whether bail should be granted or not lies with the court. Bail applications he said are in their nature inherently urgent and at times, the prosecutors barely have enough time to gather all relevant material that has to be placed before court in opposing bail.

“This is a policy issue that should be decided by policy makers and to influence law makers in that regard. The DPP’s role is to prosecute any offender brought before it and present his antecedents to the court to rule on. Members of the public as well should inform their legislators what they want to be done in this country,” Tiroyakgosi said.The DPP Director explained that factors such as the ability by the accused to attend court to answer for the charges preferred against them when required to do so by the court are very pertinent.

There is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty that must also be placed on the scale of justice. Asked about the reported backlog of cases at their office, which is alleged to be a major contributor to offenders being given bail, Tiroyakgosi said the matter is a concern to all. “Delays in concluding criminal cases before the courts lead to denial of justice to victims of crime and if the situation is to continue unabated, the general public may start to lose confidence in the criminal justice system,’ he said. To try and address the situation, in 2016 the Directorate established a Backlog Eradication Unit to deal with the worrying situation and according to the DPP Director, significant changes have since been noted.

However, he acknowledged that there is need for collaboration with the administration of justice to speed up the process.There is also need for all relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice system to embark on an extensive public education campaign to sensitise the public about the law and the consequences of non-compliance. Meanwhile, during the official opening of the 2018 legal year, Chief Justice Dibotelo also intimated that releasing dangerous crime suspects on bail has the potential to backfire in the near future if not handled properly. He has since assured that Batswana’s cries have not fallen on deaf ears.

Latest News

Newsletter Subscription

      Subscribe Now      

Website designed & developed by DigitalHorn © 2016