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Court offers bail to murder suspect

Today, Justice Colin Williams had  set bail at $25,000 for 35-year-old Jorge Vidal, a carpenter of 35 Central America Street in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, who was remanded on a charge of murder. However, up to news time we understand that he was not able to meet bail.  Vidal is charged with the murder of Hortencio Contreras, a resident of Benque Del Carmen who was beaten to death on the 31st of December, 2005. Vidal’s attorney, Oscar Selgado had applied for bail on the grounds that Vidal was acquitted of the charge in Belmopan Supreme Court and he was re-arrested and charged in 2015 after Belize Court of Appeal allowed an appeal by the DPP and ordered a retrial. Since then, no new indictment has been made and no date has been set for the retrial.  Selgado contended that Vidal’s constitutional rights have been breached since he is entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable time and 9 months have passed since the retrial was ordered. Selgado also submitted that it would be a grave injustice if Vidal is kept in custody since it is unlikely that the trial will proceed in the foreseeable future. The respondent for the Crown was Crown Counsel Killeru Awich.