John Fernandes who is accused of raping a Russian girl, was finally granted conditional bail on Friday by the Additional Sessions Judge after spending nearly a year and three months behind bars.
He was asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 along with two separate sureties of the same amount. Besides, John has been asked to surrender his passport to the Investigating Officer if it is not surrendered already and further has been directed not to leave the State of Goa without the Court’s permission.
The judge observed that there is a change in circumstances from the time his bail application was rejected on earlier occasion as most of the witnesses are already examined by the prosecution and therefore the possibility of John either influencing or threatening them does not arise. Further, it was pointed out that even the High Court had permitted John to apply for bail before the Sessions Court once the examination of the main witnesses was completed.
Besides, the judge also noted that the possibility of John fleeing from the state appears to be unfounded as he has his roots in Goa and had even contested elections in the State.
Following the complaint by a Russian girl accusing John of raping her, John initially moved for anticipatory bail which was rejected even by the Supreme Court and subsequent to his arrest in January last year, his bail applications were rejected by all courts including the Supreme Court.