by Donella Hosten
The unfortunate news about 2 members of the media who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, has caught the attention of many.
26-year-old Akhir Addulalym, a cameraman at the Government Information Service (GIS) and 38-year-old Osborne Joel Liverpool, a radio announcer at Boss FM, were nabbed during a police operation on Thursday, 24 August 2017.
It was reported that the vehicle that was at the time driven by Addulalym contained 1 kilo of cocaine, estimated at $100,000. The illegal substance was found shortly after the accused reportedly came from the Amelia, a vessel which plies the Carriacou–Grenada route.
Both men were represented by Attorney-at-Law, Peter David, as they appeared at the St George’s Magistrate’s Court. The matter was heard by Acting Magistrate Francine Foster, who was at the time, sitting in for Magistrate Jerry Seales at the Traffic Court
Being first-time offenders, David appealed for bail to be granted to both men. Neither the prosecution team nor Foster had objections to bail. In addition to bail set at $40,000 each with 2 sureties, both men are required to submit all travel documents and report to the Central Police Station every Monday and Friday between 6 am and 6 pm.
Accompanying them to court on Tuesday, 29 August 2017, was Rawle Titus, Director of the GIS. The court was informed that Addulalym is expected to travel to China to represent the State Media at an upcoming event on 7 September 2017, for just about 3 weeks. Upon hearing this, Acting Magistrate Foster then agreed to grant the GIS employee permission to travel. However, this request must be brought before her in writing.
Several persons have shared their views on the matter, stating that it is unfair for Addulalym to have been granted permission by the court to travel after being charged with such a serious offence.
If convicted, both men can face up to 7 years in prison or be fined at least $250,000. They are scheduled to make their next court appearance on 2 November 2017.