Benschop's bail reduced to $200,000
May 18, 2001
Television talk show host Mark Benschop yesterday had his bail reduced by $300,000, after he failed to secure the $500,000 imposed by Chief Magistrate, Paul Fung-A-Fat, on Wednesday.
Benschop's bail was reduced when attorney-at-Law, Basil Williams made representations on his behalf before Fung-A-Fat, yesterday afternoon after his client had spent a night at the Camp Street prison.
The former host of the NBTV Channel Nine television programme "Straight Up", was on Wednesday slapped with four charges allegedly committed when he was hosting his nightly programme.
One of the charges involving alleged disorderly behaviour at the defendant's home was dismissed by the chief magistrate after counsel for Benschop, attorney-at-law, Nigel Hughes, in submissions, stated that his client was entitled to decline a policeman's invitation and to "cuss him".
The other charges involving another count of disorderly behaviour committed at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) office, sedition and incitement to commit murder, to which Benschop was not required to plead, stand.
Hughes, in his address to the court, on Wednesday had described the charges as ridiculous, before pointing out that there was no such charge as incitement to commit murder under Section 102(B).
According to the prosecution's case, Benschop on an April 11 show incited police officers to murder Commissioner Laurie Lewis by stating: "...I am calling on all police officers to turn your weapons on Laurie Lewis, give him a few, you know what I mean, pellets, bullets that is".
It was further alleged that he stated that "The Guyana Police Force has to understand that they are outnumbered so if they kill one or two they cannot kill all. They are outnumbered and therefore they must be careful".
Benschop's case along with that of fellow talk-show host, Ronald Waddell is expected to continue today. Waddell who was himself charged with two counts of sedition, had his $1 million surety met by the PNC REFORM in the form of a real estate transport.