Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Dr Paul Ashley has argued strongly that the prosecution of the former Cash Plus boss Carol Hill should have been led by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, given the magnitude of public interest that the trial has attracted.
"On a case of this massive overwhelming public interest, it is my considered opinion that it is the DPP, herself, should be leading a most senior team in this trial. She herself, should have taken the lead in this trial and would have sufficient time and resources to ensure that every 'i' was dotted and every 't' was crossed. It seems to me, inexcusable, after waiting so long, for this to take place," Ashley told The Gleaner on Monday.
But Llewellyn argued that the case was prosecuted by a deputy DPP and a Crown counsel assistant. According to the DPP, the matter was not of any great complexity.
In a Gleaner interview, Llewellyn pointed out that as DPP, she had many cases islandwide under her remit.
"We have many matters that have a public interest component," Llewellyn argued.
"I wish I could clone myself," the DPP quipped.
She stressed that her office was currently running five persons short and she had to "fill in at the Court of Appeal level several times, so it depends on the particular exigencies and the entire case stock".
In the latest development, the DPP on Monday entered a nolle prosequi, and discontinued the case against Hill. He was subsequently arrested on the same charges.
Ashley argued that the office of the DPP, early in the trial, had said the prosecution was ready and objected to an adjournment.
He, however, pointed out that the prosecution was "now compelled to accede to the request for information, which she had failed to serve".
Ashley noted that if the trial had proceeded, and the DPP did not serve the relevant documents that were in her possession to the defence, the case could have been dismissed and Hill walk free.
One depositor who requested anonymity described the decision to start a new trial against Hill as "nonsense". She argued that it was taking longer than it should.
"It is a drawn-out thing, and this is foolishness."