Supreme Court defers decision on Keyren Tzib bail application

Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord has reserved decision on an application for bail made today by 24 year old Seaman of the Belize National Coast Guard (BNCG) Keyren Tzib,  charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm in an attack on colleague Petty Officer First Class Kurt Hyde, 37, on Easter Monday, April 6. The decision will now be handed down next Wednesday, April 15, at 2:30 in the afternoon. Initially scheduled for this morning, the hearing was postponed on the request of Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis to this afternoon, but even then, he told the court that he did not have enough time to marshal arguments against granting Tzib bail on short notice. Seaman Tzib was arraigned on Tuesday and her attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, took advantage of an amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act passed in October of last year that waives the standard ten-day waiting period for application for bail for persons with good character and no previous convictions for offences listed under the Act. She explains why her client should have been released today

Audrey Matura-Shepherd – Attorneyaudrey10.4.15

“We showed the good character of our client and we show that she has no previous conviction. Therefore, the bail could have been heard today. That was the main contention of the crown, that they wanted not have a hearing today, because they wanted time to prepare to respond. For me, it’s very simple. I’ve worked at the DPP’s office and you have to work overnight, you have the resources to the State, they have access to the police, anyone they want to, to get an affidavit. An affidavit is the most basic thing and an attorney needs to be able to prepare and file. But they presented absolutely no evidence to the court. You all were in court. Other than ask for time and so based on that I think it was clear cut. We presented all the reasons why my client should be given bail. However, the judge heard everything and the decision would be until Wednesday. As you all heard, he ask for two reports: what is the state of the victim and what is the health of the prisoner in this case.”

After listening to the submissions from both counsel Justice Lord asked for two key documents that will help him make his decision. He ordered that a psychiatric evaluation be done on Tzib by the medical practitioner at the Kolbe Foundation where she remains in custody, and a report of it be made available to the court. Justice Lord also ordered that a report of the medical condition of the complainant, Kurt Hyde, be also made available to the court. Crown counsel Linsbert Willis, who represented the Crown at the bail application hearing, asked that the matter be adjourned so that the Crown can properly address the issues, noting that Hyde remains in critical but stable condition and according to Superintendent Hilberto Romero, O.C. CIB Eastern Division who made contact with Coast Guard senior officers Elton Bennett and Gregory Soberanis to inquire on Hyde’s condition, the officer is to undergo surgery aboard the USNS ship Comfort on Sunday. Matura-Shepherd submitted that the lack of diligence on the part of the Crown should not be used to prejudice the freedom of the accused in this matter. Shepherd also submitted that the Crown did not give any compelling reasons as to why the applicant should not be granted bail. She also submitted that Tzib is a Belizean and that she is not a flight risk.

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