Categorized | National News

Minister’s Death Threat Suspect Charged – Omar Archer Granted $15K Bail

Former political hopeful in the 2007 General Elections and outspoken community activist Omar Shareif Archer was on Tuesday arraigned before Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethel in relation to death threats he allegedly made to State Minister for National Security Keith Bell and a police officer.

Forty-one-year old Archer was also charged with intentional libel as court dockets allege that on or about May 2, 2013, Archer unlawfully published defamatory material about Keith Bell with intention to defame him.

On the same day, he allegedly unlawfully threatened Keith Bell to put him in fear for his life.

Archer racked up a third charge as court dockets allege that on May 3, the day he was arrested, he threatened the life of Corporal Adrian Miller.

Archer pleaded not guilty to all three charges and elected to have the matter heard in the Magistrate’s Court.

Reports are that Archer posted some serious death threats against the minister on his Facebook page.

The case is being prosecuted by Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham Allen who strongly objected to bail noting the nature of the charges and the factors involved.

However, Archer’s lawyer Phil Hilton said his client should be granted bail on the basis that he is a Bahamian citizen, he is not a flight risk, he has not prior convictions, he is well known to the community and he’s a self-employed father.

When Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel asked the prosecution how violent the threats were, Graham-Allen noted that the allegations were “very, very serious” and both death threat counts have some substance to them.

She told the court that it has to take into account the atmosphere in which the justice system operates where witnesses are threatened.

Graham-Allen added that if law and order are not maintained and people go about threatening police officers and government ministers, she said she is afraid of what will happen to the administration of justice in the country.

In the end though, the deputy chief magistrate said while death threats against anyone are serious, the decision is at the court’s discretion and bail was granted in the amount of $15,000 with two suretors.

Archer is also to check in at the East Street South Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

She also told Archer that she has to be satisfied that his suretors are strong and will keep him in check.

The magistrate said if it comes to court’s attention of any further death threats the court will have no hesitation in revoking bail.

The prosecution can appeal to Archer’s bail if it wishes to.

The matter heads back to court on June 3.

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

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