State Wins Appeal In Fraud Case Against Former Ministers

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Friday 21st June, 2019-The state has won an appeal in a case involving three former government ministers in the Baldwin Spencer administration.

The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal sitting in Antigua this afternoon, overturned a ruling made by Magistrate Conliffe Clarke in 2017, when he dismissed fraud charges again Dr. Jacqui Quinn, Harold Lovell and Wilmoth Daniel.

Charges of embezzlement, larceny and fraud were instituted against the trio who were hauled before the court for allegedly converting gifts from the Korean Government. Three Daewoo buses that were donated to the then Baldwin Spencer administration were allegedly converted for personal use by the three former ministers, with the vehicles being registered in their names.

An investigation was subsequently launched and they were charged.

However, the case was dismissed in 2017 after Magistrate Conliffe Clarke ruled in part that the evidence that was laid before the court was scant and he also had difficulty in determining who the virtual complainant was.

Immediately after the matter was dismissed, the Director of Public Prosecution signaled he was appealing the magistrate’s decision.

The matter was heard today and after arguments from both sides, the lower court’s ruling was overturned.

It means now the process will start all over again. Dr. Jacqui Quinn, Harold Lovell and Wilmoth Daniel will appear before another magistrate for committal.

The Opposition United Progressive Party has in the past described the ordeal as political persecution.

Writing on her Facebook page this afternoon, Dr. Jacqui Quinn stated: “The political harassment continues….and the dpp, judges and politicians all smile fraternally walking step by step, hand in hand and singing “All ah we is one!”#onebigfarce.