A magistrate will decide today whether a pastor will be granted bail pending his trial for intentional libel.
Apostle Julian Johnson, the senior pastor at Sufficient Grace International Ministries, denied that he accused Police Commissioner Paul Rolle of sexually assaulting female officers during a Facebook broadcast last month.
Johnson, 50, appeared in court shortly after he surrendered to the Criminal Investigation Department around noon yesterday.
Although Johnson was in custody, the CID officers did not restrain him. He walked freely between two officers.
After his arraignment before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, Sergeant 3605 Samantha Miah didn’t have a chance to review the file to determine if she had an objection to bail.
Miah said she had only received the file moments before Johnson entered his plea.
However, Johnson’s lawyer Jomo Campbell vigorously protested the deferral of the court’s decision.
Campbell argued that there was no basis for the refusal of bail or a deferral of bail.
He said that a deferral of bail could be seen as pretrial punishment.
Ferguson-Pratt said she didn’t want to “force the Crown’s hand”.
As the magistrate is due to travel on official business today, she has transferred the matter to the Deputy Chief Magistrate only to consider the issue of bail.