Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
Former Matthews Lane strongman Donald 'Zeeks' Phipps has won his suit against the Government to recover more than $24 million which went missing after it was seized by the police from his home in Havendale, St Andrew, in May 2005.
Phipps, who is now serving a sentence of life imprisonment for double murder, had sued the attorney general contending that the seizure of his money was unlawful.
He was charged jointly with his girlfriend, Yvonne Salisman, for unlawful possession of more that $19 million worth of assorted currency, which included $8.3 million and US$152,185.
They were subsequently freed of unlawful possession of the money after the director of public prosecutions decided not to prosecute the case.
The money was reported to have been put in a vault at the Financial Investigation Division at the Ministry of Finance but most of the money went missing in 2007.
Phipps, 56, who was represented by Queen's Counsel Jacqueline Samuels Brown, filed a suit in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the money was unlawfully seized and should be returned to him.
The case was set down yesterday before Justice Frank Williams for assessment of damages.
When the matter came for hearing, the parties arrived at an agreement. A consent judgment was entered that the money must be returned to Phipps.
On Wednesday, June 27, the United Kingdom Privy Council, Jamaica's final appellate court, dismissed Phipps' appeal against his sentence.
Phipps was convicted in the Home Circuit Court in April 2006. On May 30, 2006, Justice Horace Marsh sentenced him to life imprisonment and ordered that he must serve 30 years' imprisonment before becoming eligible for parole.