Attorney General (AG) Dappula  De Livera has followed up his advice to the Acting IGP on releasing remand prisoners on bail to reduce congestion in prisons due to corona virus by listing several other categories of prisoners who are eligible for bail.

The AG on 9 April  issued guidelines to Acting IGP Chandana Wickremaratne  on the release of minor drug offenders . Today (11 April) he  said this would be expanded to other categories after he was informed that there are around 5,000 other persons in remand custody who are suspects in cases unrelated to drug offences.

Excluding   three categories of prisoners, the AG said that all other inmates  who have been  in remand custody for  over three months  and  those who are in  custody  for minor offences where the prescribed sentence is less than  two years Rigorous Imprisonment  (RI) and have been  in custody for a period of over one month  are qualified for release on bail.

Those who will not qualify for bail under this program are persons who are  facing charges  under several laws including the Firearms  Ordinance(Possession of Automatic Weapons), Explosives  Ordinance. Offensive Weapons Act, Offences Against Public Property Act, Prevention of Money  Laundering Act,  Prevention of Domestic Violence Act,  Prevention of Torture Act,  Prevention of Terrorist Financing Act,  Immigration and Emigration Act,   Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act and Sections 296, 386 and 383 of the Penal Code.

Others who will not be considered for bail are remand prisoners who are  habitual offenders with several pending cases and/ or previous convictions as well as Island Re-convicted  Criminals (IRC)s.

The AG advised the Acting IGP to  instruct the OICs of Police Station and other Units to file motion and/ or further reports in the Magistrate’s Court and  move court to enlarge these suspects on bail without delay.

He also said those  released on bail should be closely  monitored by the respective police stations in areas they reside.