The Court of Appeal in Tanzania has maintained no bail for criminal cases of terrorism, money laundering, narcotic drugs, and other cases.
The Court in Dar es Salaam on Thursday ruled that the criminal charges that have no bail are in compliance with the law, overturning a May 18th ruling by the High Court which declared section 148(5) of the Criminal Procedure Act Cap 20 (CPA), the key provision that denies bail to accused persons, as unconstitutional.
The ruling follows an appeal by the state urging court to nullify the judgment of the High Court that declared unconstitutional the provision under Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), which denies bail persons facing capital offences.
The state lawyers had submitted that power to protect and determine the rights, duties and interests of the individual are vested in the judiciary and other state agencies and that each organ executes its protection function independently and in accordance with the law.
The section in question restricts bail on persons charged with murder, treason, terrorism, armed robbery, narcotic drugs and money laundering offences.
In May, a petitioner moved the High Court in a constitutional Petition challenging section 148(5) of the Criminal Procedure Act that denies bail to accused persons in various offences the most popular being Money Laundering.
The Petitioner stated that the ‘deprivation of liberty is a serious intervention in any person’s life and, therefore, the possibility of releasing the suspect or accused from custody pending investigation or trial is a fundamental right exercisable in criminal justice systems across all democratic countries in the world.
The Petitioner was seeking orders that section 148(5) of the CPA infringes constitutional rights of presumption of innocence and the right to personal liberty as enshrined under Articles 13(6)(b) and 15(2)(a) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania (Constitution).
The High Court decision was also hailed as a landmark decision and one of the most significant constitutional and human rights law decisions, the High Court of Tanzania.
With today’s ruling, all the grand offenses like Money Laundering, Economic Sabotage, Terrorism and others will continue to be unbailable in Tanzania.