BOTSWANA: After hearing case the Judge Singh Walia accept plea for bail and order to release 23-year-old De beer, convicted and sentenced for drug trafficking.
Giving bail, Walia said he had made some observations regarding the trial magistrate’s judgment. But before granting bail, the Judge raised concerns about the convict.
He said even though the magistrate made errors, he was afraid of the outcome if he was given bail.
He wondered if De Beer was not going to be a danger to himself and other people as he was schizophrenic and whether he was going to be able to access the medication adding that he cannot release him back to his own country.
“I can note that the magistrate made some errors when sentencing the accused, but what about his condition and where he is going to stay while out on bail,” he said. However, after the defence lawyer, Friday Leburu addressed the judge’s concerns and raised arguments that the magistrate was harsh even though the convict was a first time offender, Justice Walia relented.
The bail was conditional on De Beer depositing a P2,500, providing a Botswana surety with P2,500, surrendering his passport and all travelling documents, reporting to Broadhurst police every Monday and Friday, and not going outside the boundaries of Gaborone without the prior permission of the Station Commander.
He was also ordered to pay a P10,000 fine. He was arrested on October 18 at Rail-Park mall after police were alerted to the fact that he was bringing 10kg of drugs into the country.
According to evidence before court, De Beers arrived in Botswana on October 17 at SSK Airport aboard Kenya Airways from India after connecting in Nairobi.
Upon arrival, he is said to have informed airport officials that his luggage was left in Nairobi and would come on the same flight after two days when he will collect it. However, on October 18, 2014 De Beer was arrested at Rail Park Mall in Gaborone by police officers after they got a tip off that his en-route luggage could be containing some drugs.
After the drugs were sent to the police laboratory it was confirmed to be ephedrine.
The prosecution presented before the court a police laboratory affidavit, customs clearance certificate, the certificate of weights and the ephedrine, which weight 9.663 kg as part of evidence.
Ephedrine is a second scheduled drug under Drugs and Related Substance Act.
It is not a habit-forming drug but a controlled drug that can be dispensed from a pharmacy because of its medicinal properties.
Moreover, a person dealing with drugs can notify the director of the drugs on transit 48hrs after they have passed the country.