A MAN has appeared in court for possession of a samurai sword, which is illegal without a permit.
Ganesh Ashok, 25, appeared before senior magistrate Jo-Anne Connor in the San Fernando magistrates' court. A charge was read to him that he was in possession of an offensive weapon, namely a sword, on Monday at Tarouba Village, near San Fernando.
The charge was laid by PC Shawn Seeti of the Marabella Police Station contrary to the Prevention of Criminal Offences/Weapon Act chapter 11:09 (3) (1).
The charge was laid indictably and Ashook was not called upon to plead. However, police prosecutor Cpl Ramnath Philli told the magistrate the prosecution was offering the defendant the choice of having his case heard summarily.
Connor asked Ashook which would he prefer: before a judge and jury or in the magistrates' court?
He said, "In the High Court."
In summary trials, the magistrate is the sole arbiter and, applying his or her legal knowledge, determines whether or not a defendant is guilty. In the High Court, a panel of jurors come to a verdict, but the judge gives directions of law which they are obliged to take. Sentences in the High Court are more severe than in the magistrates' court.
The decorative samurai sword and the scabbard in which it was kept, were displayed in court for Connor, who took a description of it.
She granted Ashook bail of $30,000 with a cash alternative of $4,000. He is to return to court on April 14.