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Judge ruling on Kern case next Monday

Published:Thursday | March 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

After more than five years on trial, Kern Spencer, the former junior minister for energy, will know on Monday whether a magistrate will toss the corruption charges against him and Colleen Wright, his former personal assistant.

Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey reserved her decision on the no-case submission filed by defence attorneys after prosecutors wrapped up their response yesterday.

Spencer and Wright have been on trial since 2009 for money laundering and illicit enrichment arising from the implementation of the Cuban light bulb programme

On Tuesday, defence attorneys K D Knight and Deborah Martin asked Pusey to dismiss the charges, claiming that, among other things, prosecutorial misconduct on the part of lead prosecutor Paula Llewellyn and the lengthy delays in the trial had prejudiced their clients' right to a fair trial.

'No basis for complaint'

However, Llewellyn and her junior, Crown Counsel Kerry-Ann Kemble, hit back yesterday, asserting that they have "adduced sufficient evidence that would require a magistrate to call on the accused to state their defence".

Kemble pointed out that a key reason for the delay was the constitutional motion filed by prosecutors challenging an order made by Pusey and argued that this was not a basis for any complaint about delay by either side "because the law allows for it".

"We concede that there have been delays, but we submit that there has been no prejudice to the accused on the basis of the delays in the trial," Kemble argued.