Sun | May 20, 2018

Eyes on prominent cases in court this year

Published:Saturday | January 5, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Rev Al Miller
Carlos Hill
Kern Spencer
Omar Davies

SEVERAL HIGH-profile cases are pending in the courts for various reasons and are expected to be heard or for judgment to be handed down during 2013.

The highly anticipated trial of Carlos Hill, the former head of the failed investment scheme Cash Plus, failed to get under way in the Home Circuit Court on October 1 last year because one of his lawyers was appearing in a murder case.

The case is set for trial on March 4.

Hill, who is on bail, is charged with fraudulently inducing persons to invest in a Ponzi scheme.

Carlos Hill, his brother Bertram and Peter Wilson, the former chief financial officer of Cash Plus, are before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on other charges related to the Cash Plus collapse They were charged in April 2008 with obtaining money by false pretence, conspiracy to defraud and fraudulent conversion.

The case has been put on hold until Hill's case has been tried in the Home Circuit Court.

In the meantime, thousands of depositors who were bilked out of billions of dollars invested in the failed investment scheme have not received any payments since Cash Plus was placed into receivership in 2008.

However, former Cash Plus liquidator attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, who demitted office in July, had announced that he had "successfully completed some Cash Plus matters" and had put plans in place on which his successor should follow through.

Light-bulb saga

The Cuban light-bulb fraud trial of former Junior Minister Kern Spencer and Coleen Wright, which began in September 2009, is pending in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court because of several legal issues which surfaced during the trial.

The latest issue is an appeal brought by Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey who is appealing against a decision of the Judicial Review Court. RM Pusey who is trying the case is contending that the review court erred when it quashed her decision to grant an order compelling Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, who is prosecuting the case, to appear as a witness at the trial.

The Court of Appeal heard legal submissions last month and has reserved its decision until early this year.

The Reverend Al Miller will know on February 8 this year if his conviction for negligence resulting in the loss or theft of his licensed firearm will be quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Miller, who is the pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle in St Andrew, was fined $80,000 or three months' imprisonment after he was convicted.

The fine has been paid.

Miller had claimed, in his statement to police investigators, that he left the gun in his car when he and his daughter stopped at The Mico Practising Centre in St Andrew in January 2011 to pick plums.

The Court of Appeal heard the appeal last month.

Miller is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and the trial is set for March 5 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

He was charged in June 2010 after then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke was found in his company along the Mandela Highway in St Catherine.

Miller had allegedly reported that he was taking the former Tivoli Gardens strongman to the United States Embassy when he was intercepted by the police.

The trial should have started last month but the court was told that Miller had recently retained Jacqueline Samuels Brown,QC, to represent him.

Supreme Court judge Lennox Campbell is to hand down a ruling as to whether leave will be granted for Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies to go to the Judicial Review Court.

The minister is seeking to challenge a requisition by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) that it has the authority to requisition the oversight panel under the Contractor General Act.

The application was heard in July last year.

Attorney General Patrick Atkinson, QC, who is appearing in the matter, has disagreed with the OCG's insistence that the recently established oversight panel should provide formal reports to the OCG on its deliberations regarding the projects.

The projects are the north-south link of Highway 2000, which spans Spanish Town to Ocho Rios; the Gordon Cay Container Trans-shipment hub, and the Fort Augusta Container Terminal.