JUST IN: Danville Walker found guilty of breaching Contractor General Act, fined maximum $5,000
Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
Former Commissioner of Customs Danville Walker has been found guilty of breaching the Contractor General Act and has been sentenced to the maximum fine of $5,000 or 14 days in prison.
The verdict and sentence was handed down by Senior Parish Judge Tara Carr in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court a short while ago.
Prosecutors charged that during his tenure at the Jamaica Customs Agency in 2011, Walker breached the Contractor General Act by not providing, in a timely manner, information requested by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).
The OCG had investigated allegations that the customs department under Walker's leadership, allowed the export of 97 containers of scrap metal despite a ban on the industry at the time and without the requisite licenses.
Walker, now the managing director of the Jamaica Observer, through his attorneys, he questioned whether the OCG had the lawful authority to make the request of him.
He also indicated that at the time he was a candidate in the General Election and was out campaigning day and night.
As a result, Walker argued, he did not have time to meet with his attorneys to formulate his response to the request of the OCG.
However, in handing down her verdict, Carr said Walker only provided the court with excuses.
"As a former public figure he must be acutely aware of the importance of this matter to the general population," Carr said.
Walker had pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him based on a 2012 ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
IN PHOTO: Greg Christie
Greg Christie, who was Contractor General at the time, had recommended the charges.
Walker had challenged the OCG's powers to probe the department but failed at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
Now the chairman of the Jamaica Customs board, Walker served as customs commissioner from June 2008 to November 2011 when he resigned to represent the Jamaica Labour Party in Central Manchester in the general elections.
He lost to sitting MP Peter Bunting.