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Defence cries foul over undisclosed files in Manchester MC fraud trial

Published:Wednesday | June 12, 2019 | 12:24 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

The attorneys representing the eight individuals charged in the $400-million Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud trial complained bitterly yesterday that files they were expecting to be presented with from the onset of the trial are still outstanding.

Attorney Danielle Archer, who is representing former secretary manager and director of finance at the corporation, David Harris, said she was not in receipt of documents that are pertinent to building her defence.

She also acknowledged that documents she was presented with yesterday were not attached to files she had received before.

Judge Ann-Marie Grainger told prosecution to ensure that handwritten samples were attached to the statements to avoid the confusion.

Attorney Joel Nelson, who represents former bank employee Radcliffe McLean, said although the prosecution states that they have submitted the documents, the defence cannot confirm it.

“It was given a number. It was mentioned but not exhibited in the report,” he said.

Grainger reminded the prosecution that if a document is not disclosed, it cannot be served or shown to the witness.

The cross-examination of the accounting clerk, who has been on the stand since last Tuesday, ended yesterday afternoon.

During this time, it was confirmed that other persons assisted her in her capacity during the 2013-2016 period under investigation.

Former deputy mayor of Mandeville and vice-chairman of the Manchester Municipal Corporation, Ervin Facey, was called to the stand late yesterday afternoon. He confirmed that having held the position from 2007-2018, one of his duties included authorising cheques and payment vouchers.

He said some of these payment vouchers he was presented with were for contractual work, including drainage works, market repairs and road construction.

Facey, the sixth of 59 witnesses, will again take the stand today.

Facey resigned from the post as deputy mayor following investigations in 2018. He also took a leave of absence as the councillor for the Spur Tree division, but has since returned.

The corporation was raided by the Financial Investigations Division and Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency in 2016 after irregularities were discovered.

Reports are that several invoices, many in excess of $400,000, were submitted for work not done and were registered in the names of persons who were unaware that their identity was being used to validate the documents.