Resident magistrate urges trial adjournment in money-laundering case
A magistrate yesterday urged prosecutors in the multimillion-dollar money-laundering case against Kingston attorney Dawn Satterswaite and four others to consider adjourning the impending trial indefinitely.
That appeal by Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey came in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court after attorneys for Satterswaite and her co-accused indicated that they are awaiting decisions in three cases, now before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, that could impact the money-laundering case.
"If the Appeal Court rules
in favour of the accused [Satterwaite and her co-accused], this [money-laundering], case would collapse without a ball being bowled," explained Ian Wilkinson, the attorney for two of the accused, Janet Ramsey and Paulette Higgins.
Wilkinson, in his application to have the case adjourned indefinitely, also pointed out that the decisions of the two high courts are likely to be appealed.
Prosecutors gave several reasons for opposing the application by defence attorneys, but their argument did not find favour with the senior resident magistrate.
"I don't think you should proceed with so many things hanging over your head," Pusey told prosecutors.
"I am prepared to give you an opportunity to run this by your colleagues and take a principled position. I urge you to take the time and sit down with your superiors in the interest of justice," Pusey added.
As a result, the case was adjourned until next Friday when prosecutors are expected to indicate their decision.
Prosecutors have alleged that over an 11-year period, starting in 1989, Satterswaite purchased some 30 high-end properties valued at close to $500 million for Andrew Hamilton, a Jamaican who was convicted in the United States on drug charges and is now serving a four-year prison sentence.
It is further alleged that Satterswaite had the properties registered in the names of Hamilton's close relatives and friends, and that she was responsible for maintaining them.