Benschop granted $10,000 bail on incitement charges
Rearrested after another confrontation
March 15, 2001
`Straight Up' host, Mark Benschop was put on bail after appearing in
court yesterday on charges stemming from a protest outside the
Elections Commission but several hours later he was back in the
Brickdam Police Station lock-ups after yet another confrontation with
law enforcement officers.
Although only a few managed to make it into the Magistrate's court
compound during his brief appearance in front of Principal Magistrate,
Juliet Holder-Allen, they eventually downed the cordons in time to
lift him onto their shoulders and carry him triumphantly into the
Hundreds of persons gathered around the police barricades after he
appeared in court yesterday morning chanting and calling for the
release of the controversial television personality.
Before all that drama, the 32-year-old 90 Laluni Street, Queenstown
resident had secured $10,000 bail after denying:
* that on March 13, at High Street, Kingston, he incited members of
the public at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for disorderly
purposes and did not disperse or move away when required by
Superintendent Leroy Brummel;
* that he resisted peace officer, Brummel, while he was acting in
execution of his duties;
* that he incited members of the public at Channel 9 for disorderly
According to the prosecution's case, a Sergeant of the Guyana Police
Force (GPF) stationed at the Brickdam station, drew Brummel's
attention to a programme on NBTV, Channel 9, in which the defendant
was urging members of the public to go in front of the Guyana
Elections Commission (GECOM) to protest their inability to collect
their new national identification cards.
After making some calls, the officer went down to GECOM where he saw
Benschop emerging from a taxi. It is alleged that the media operative
immediately prompted the persons present to protest despite warnings
from Brummel to desist from such acts.
As such, the ranks present attempted to arrest him but he pushed them
away. After several attempts, he was apprehended and taken to the
Less than three weeks ago, Benschop appeared before another city
magistrate charged with assault, resisting arrest and obstructing a
peace officer. Prior to that incident, he had been placed on a
six-month bond (which is still in effect) by Chief Magistrate, Paul
Fung-A-Fat to be of good behaviour.
He returns to court on April 11 in relation to the case stemming from
Tuesday's incident outside GECOM.
Following his arrest again yesterday, sources say more charges are
likely to be brought against him.