One week ago tonight, the Lebanese Nasser family of San Pedro Town – 43 year old Nazim; his wife Jaziba, 36; and two adult male children, 19 year old Jamal and 18 year old Hilal, were all sent to Hattieville Prison after a raid by San Pedro Police at their Coconut Drive home on the island for illegal firearms and ammunition produced six live rounds of .22 ammunition in a metal safe. All four were charged for keeping unlicensed ammunition and Jamal attempted to plead guilty to the charge in Belize City Magistrate’s Court but after being told he was going to prison for three years, backed out and as a result all four were remanded. It’s a typical story from the courts, except that Jaziba is eight months’ pregnant with the couple’s fifth child and two others are at home left to fend for themselves. Due to the urgent state of Jaziba’s condition attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley was retained to seek bail for her before their next scheduled court appearance. He was successful and shares with us how so.
“Yes, but in fact I want to say, God be praised that in fact, this morning, the judge offered bail, the lenient sum of $8,000. She has to surrender her passport and travel documents; she is not to leave its jurisdiction without the prior consent of the Supreme Court”.
The law is inflexible: all persons found at a residence with unlicensed firearms or ammunition or who uses a firearm in the commission of a crime are remanded for three months at the minimum unless they seek bail at the Supreme Court. Bradley relates how he found the accused at prison and how authorities were forced to take a second look.
Mr. Dickey Bradley: “So she was in a very stressful situation. So, what we would normally do as attorneys is that in fact, we make an urgent application. So, before I go anywhere, I want to say a big thanks to the Registrar General, to Mr. Peni and to the Chief Justice and of course the judge who heard me this morning, Troadio Gonzalez, because it is in fact, it is the Chief Justice’s concern for the fact that if somebody’s medical condition could trigger as those doctors to has now said, that she was getting premature labour and her medical conditions alerted the court authorities and the honourable Chief Justice that this is something that requires special attention too. You will see that we got endorsed matters Monday and Tuesday, and yesterday evening, I was informed that I should make myself available for a bigger petition”.
Justice Troadio Gonzalez heard the case and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was represented by Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith. The family returns to court on November 29 but applications for the father Nazim and his sons will be heard next week. Family friend Amir Ziva told us that they are confident of the family’s innocence.