By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A WOMAN awaiting trial on allegations related to human trafficking had her bail application rejected in the Supreme Court yesterday.
Abigail Wilson, 20, and her lawyer Bernard Ferguson appeared before Justice Bernard Turner seeking pre-trial release ahead of Wilson's August 15 trial before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt on four counts of trafficking in persons allegedly committed between March and May 26 of this year.
The charges were brought under Section 3 (1)(a) of the Trafficking in Persons Prevention and Suppression Act Chapter 106.
It is alleged that the Jamaican, being concerned with others, recruited, received, harboured and transported a woman to and within the Bahamas for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
She pleaded not guilty to all of the allegations at her May 30 arraignment and was expected to stand trial on July 13.
Three weeks before the date, Wilson applied for bail before Justice Turner on June 26. The application was rejected after the judge considered the seriousness of the allegations, Wilson's lack of substantial ties to the jurisdiction, and of her being a potential flight risk.
However, the court had indicated she could reapply for bail in the event her trial did not start as scheduled.
On July 13, the case was adjourned by 24 hours because the court complex had to be closed at 1pm due to a malfunctioning air-conditioning unit.
It was expected the matter would be resolved by the following day when Wilson and her lawyer reappeared for the case.
However, the chief magistrate explained to her that the matter would have to be adjourned again to August 15, 16 and 17.
In yesterday's proceedings, Justice Turner said he would not grant bail at this time given the close proximity of her trial. He rejected her application.
However, he scheduled a status hearing for August 31 concerning an update.