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83-year-old murder suspect granted bail Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00

Manuel CuculOn Friday, October 11th, 83-year-old Manuel Cucul was today granted bail in Supreme Court in the sum of $10,000 or two sureties of $5,000 each after being on remand for the May 10th, 2012 murder of his wife in the village of San Marcus in the Toledo district.

His attorney, Kevin Arthurs was successful in securing his bail after he submitted that his client is not in good condition to be at the Kolbe Foundation due to his age. He added that his client has been diagnosed with dementia and amnesia on June 1, 2012 by a Psychiatric Nurse. The nurse who accessed him said he is disoriented, repetitious and deluded and that he had impaired mental and physical ability.

Arthurs also submitted to the court that his client's physical and mental condition were also deteriorating. The Kolbe Foundation had become alarmed that he was in a feeble state and they questioned how long he would be able to survive in the harsh conditions at the prison. According to Arthurs, at age 83, his client was the oldest inmate at the Belize Central Prison. Arthurs also submitted to the court that the dementia was affecting his client’s ability to defend or prepare a defense in his case.

In an interview, Arthurs also told us that his client, after more than a year on remand had still not been provided with any disclosure in the matter and that a preliminary investigation (PI) had not been conducted yet. Arthurs further told us that his client due to his deterioration inside prison was not even being brought to court for adjournments.

The case of Cucul was brought to the attention of the Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin, though affidavits of the Human Rights Commission, The Council for the Aging and The Maya Leaders Alliance, who all supported Cucul.
Before he granted Cucul bail, Justice Troadio Gonzalez directed the office of the DPP to expedite his case, ordering them to give him a report on Cucul’s case by the end of Supreme Court session to say whether or not the case will go to trial and how soon.