Thu | Dec 5, 2019

December 18 court date for Ruel Reid, Fritz Pinnock criminal case challenge

Published:Friday | November 8, 2019 | 10:03 AM
CMU President Professor Fritz Pinnock (left) and former education minister Ruel Reid heading for court on October 10, 2019 - Ricardo Makyn photo

Former Education Minister Ruel Reid and president of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) Professor Fritz Pinnock are to head before the Judicial Review Court on December 18 to challenge the criminal charges brought against them.

The date was set yesterday.

The application was filed by attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman.

Financial Investigations Division (FID) is the respondent in the case.

READ: FID boss dismisses Wildman’s bid to throw out Ruel Reid case

On October 9, Reid; his wife Sharen; their daughter Sharelle as well as Pinnock and Brown’s Town Division Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence were arrested and charged following a year-long corruption probe into the Education Ministry and CMU.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Reid and Pinnock are contending that the FID was not empowered by law to bring the charges against them and therefore acted illegally.

They further contend that the FID is purely an investigative body and does not have the legal authority to bring charges or obtain a fiat from the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute them. 

The five, who were granted bail when they appeared in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on October 10,  are scheduled to return on January 23, 2020.

WHAT REID AND PINNOCK WANT:

1. A declaration that the Respondent is a purely investigative body of financial crimes under the Financial Investigations Division Act, 2010,
and is not empowered by law under the said Act to institute charges against the Applicants.

2. A declaration that the Respondent is not empowered by law under the Financial Investigations Division Act to charge the Applicants for
any offence arising from any investigation conducted by the Respondent.

3. A declaration that Police Officers designated by the Commissioner of Police to be members of the Respondent are not empowered under the Financial Investigations Division Act to institute charges under the said Act against the Applicants.

4. A declaration that the purported charges instituted by the Respondent against the Applicants, for various offences, to wit, conspiracy to defraud, corruption, misconduct in public office, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property and possession of criminal property, are illegal, null and void and of no effect.

5. A declaration that the proceeding instituted by the Respondent against the Applicants before His Honour Mr. Justice Vaughn Smith, Parish Court Judge for the Parish of St. Andrew, for the various offences of conspiracy to defraud, corruption, misconduct in public office, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property and the possession of criminal property, is illegal, null and void and of no effect.

6. A declaration that the Respondent is not permitted under the Financial Investigations Division Act to seek and obtain a Fiat from the Director of
Public Prosecutions to prosecute the Applicants in respect of the purported charges brought against the Applicants by the Respondent.

7. An order of prohibition prohibiting the Respondent from taking any steps to seek and obtain a Fiat from the Director of Public Prosecution
to Prosecute the Applicants in respect of the purported charges brought against the Applicants by the Respondent.

8. An order of certiorari quashing the charges brought by the Respondent against the Applicants for the various offences of conspiracy to defraud, corruption, misconduct in public office, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property and possession of criminal property.

9. A stay of the charges brought by the Respondent against the Applicants for conspiracy to defraud, corruption, misconduct in public office, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property and possession of criminal property pending the determination of this Application for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review.

10. Cost of the Application to be cost in the application.

11. The Court may on the grant of leave, give such other consequential directions as may be deemed appropriate.

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