Quartet on money laundering charges for court January 14
The case against four men who were charged with money laundering following investigations by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) in 2013 will be mentioned in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on January 14, for a trial date to be set.
The four men - Robert Dunbar, Delroy Gayle, and Louis Smith, all of Montego Bay addresses, and United States resident Melford Daley - had their bails extended and were given the new date when they appeared in court on Monday.
Dunbar, Gayle and Smith were arrested on August 30, 2013 during simultaneous raids at their respective homes by officers from MOCA, who worked in collaboration with the Financial Investigations Division. Subsequent investigations led to charges being levelled against Daley.
The case was put off yesterday after the court was informed that attorney-at-law Oswest Senior-Smith, who is part of the defence team for the accused quartet, would not be in attendance.
"We have a letter from Mr Senior-Smith to indicate he will not be available for this period. He indicated he is involved in a murder trial in the Home Circuit Court," Clerk of the Court Yanique Henry told presiding magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines.
In response, attorney-at-law Tom Tavares-Finson, who is also part of the defence team, said the matter has not been able to proceed because of the prosecution's unreadiness.
"I suspect the prosecution was relieved to get this letter from Mr Senior-Smith. There is one witness in federal custody, and there is no concrete effort by the Crown to get this matter off the ground," said Tavares-Finson, making reference to the prosecution's key witness who had given a statement implicating the defendants as part of an international drug syndicate.
"They (prosecution) have been liaising with the United States authorities for a while. ... I want to confirm that everyone is ready to begin," Hart-Hines replied.
Following further discussions, the case was set for mention on January 14 to facilitate a meeting with all attorneys, including representatives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which has conduct of the matter, to determine a date for trial.