Bill to raise drug traffickers’ bail proposed

  23 Jan 2018

 President Tommy Remengesau Jr. proposes a bill that will increase the amount of bail bond for drug trafficking offenders, citing that the currently imposed amount of bail is “no more than the cost of doing business.” [restrict]

In a letter dated January 19, 2018 which was furnished to Island Times and addressed to public officials, Remengesau said that methamphetamine traffickers who were caught possessing large quantities of the prohibited drug and were released on bail tend to go back to their trade even with a pending trial for the same offense.

“Unless we change our strategy, we will continue to see the same outcome,” Remengesau said in the letter.

Remengesau added that the price of methamphetamine has increased and drug traffickers are already charging as much as $1,000 per gram, which only makes a bail of $1,000 or $2,000 “no more than the cost of doing business.”

“I know our courts do not desire this outcome, but their hands are tied by bail procedures that fail to consider the risk of continuing or repeat offenses,” Remengesau said.

The proposed bill seeks to amend Section 604 of Chapter 6 of Title 13 of the Palau National Code by including the prevention of “the tampering with witnesses or evidence and ensuring that the accused will not re-offend or continue to offend while awaiting disposition of the case.”

Aside from that, the proposed bill also wishes to include that the determination of the court or official should take into account the criminal history of the accused, the likelihood of the accused to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and the likelihood of the accused to re-offend while on release in addition to the current provisions.

If passed, the bail for cases involving the transport, sale, distribution, or possession of methamphetamine will be $10,000 or 10 times its estimated street value. RCP [/restrict]