Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Defence questions prosecution’s move to alter document before handing it to witness

Published:Wednesday | October 9, 2019 | 12:17 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:

The defence sought to grill a cop attached to the Financial Investigations Division (FID) who returned to the stand yesterday morning on the extent and efficiency of his investigation as the Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud trial continued.

The witness had been tasked with arresting Sanja Elliott, former deputy superintendent of roads and works at the then-named Manchester Parish Council, along with his wife Tasha-Gaye Goulbourne-Elliott and parents Myrtle and Edwardo Elliott, who are among eight persons charged in the multimillion-dollar fraud case.

He said that said in addition to visiting the accused’s home, he was also instructed to visit an apartment complex reportedly owned by Sanja Elliott in Knockpatrick, Manchester.

He added that the home of Edwardo Elliott was also visited and his furniture shop searched and a receipt book taken.

As the prosecution proceeded to show the witness a document, just before blotting out some information, the defence made several objections.

Attorney Danielle Archer questioned the reason behind alteration of the document just before it was presented to the witness, as it would have already been in evidence.

Presiding judge Ann-Marie Grainger said that she could see that the prosecution was trying to do good by not prompting the witness, but stated that if the document was already in evidence, there was no need to hide any information.

Under cross-examination, attorney Norman Godfrey, who represents Sanja Elliott, asked the witness why he failed to mention specific details of his investigation in his statement.

In relation to the more than $2 million reportedly found at Sanja Elliott’s home, Godfrey asked the witness if he had done enough to satisfy himself as to the source of the funds.

The witness said that he visited four car marts and requested functionality statements from financial institutions.

He was then asked if he accessed these documents, to which he responded that the documents were submitted to FID. He said that he made some enquires and was given certain information.

The financial investigator was asked if he was told by Tasha-Gaye and Myrtle Elliott that monies they withdrew from the bank were for Elliott’s legal fees and that the Supreme Court had allotted monies for their weekly living expenses.

He said no.

The witness was shown a video, the audio to which only he had access to, and then asked if during his investigation, the items seized were properly labelled and handled.

He did not clearly state whether they were handled according to procedural requirements.

The matter continues tomorrow in the Manchester Parish Court.