Donville Inniss Sitting Alone in the Dock

Submitted by Caleb Pilgrim

Dear Blogmaster:

Re Inniss, a reasonable person might acquaint himself with any relevant rules of engagement.   Such rules will inevitably vary from jurisdiction (e.g Barbados)  to jurisdiction (e.g Florida or New York).   But, familiarity with them can be instructive if not edifying.  It can even save the inattentive and the unwary aggravation in terms of time, money, emotional anxiety and even personal liberty.

Donville’s case is important, not only because it represents a stunning reversal of fortune, a reckoning for him personally, as well as any possible harm to Barbados and its image abroad.   

It is also important to Caribbean politicians as a whole, not just those a previous P.M described as a bunch of “wild boys”, or those who would kill and feast on “the fatted calf”.  (Some may recall that the U.S once sought the extradition of a certain Sir. Lynden Pindling – the Bahamas – to face trial In the U.S.  Mr. Bouterse’s – Suriname – problems may also come to mind.   Others routinely excoriate Dr. Gonsalves – St. Vincent – in this blog).  

But, certainly everyone knows that the U.S, despite the fact that it has only 4% to 5% of the world’s population, leads the world in terms of the number of prisoners with some 2.3 million incarcerated (25 %).  In Barbadian vernacular this is a sort oBig “Dodds”.

(See -incomplete – List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes – Wikipedia

List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes – Wikipedia

See also List of American state and local politicians convicted of crimes – Wikipedia

List of American state and local politicians convicted of crimes – Wikipedia

The late Judge John Sirica, a Watergate Judge, was remembered as having said that if a jury had voted to convict President Nixon, he (Sirica) would have sent him to jail.   The Reader will therefore understand why President Ford hastily pardoned Nixon.

Even as of the time of this writing, there are at least a few Prosecutors (e.g James, Vance, Racine et al) patiently waiting in plain view to rendezvous with Trump just after high noon come January 20, 2021.  He (Trump) is well aware of this fact.   Hence all the increased chatter about pardons for his henchmen, political supporters, family and friends, and even pardoning himself).   

(See: NY Prosecutor Hires Forensic Accountants as Criminal Investigation Into Trump Organization Escalates

NY Prosecutor Hires Forensic Accountants as Criminal Investigation Into Trump Organization Escalates

Re Inniss’s prospects, a lawyer once related to me how he had had a case before the Eastern District Court of New York (E.D.N.Y).  An elderly West Indian client passed.  Her Executor, following certain stereotypes, retained NY counsel to settle the Estate.  A problem arose when NY counsel sold a brown stone building and simply forgot to pay the proceeds to the Estate.  (As an aside, it is gratifying to read of the new Chief Justice, Cheltenham, cautioning new members of the Bar to refrain from borrowing their clients’ funds). Proceedings ensued thereafter.  

The matter came before the E.D.N.Y Chief Judge, the late David Trager, Judge in the Crown Heights case where Lemrick Nelson was accused of murdering a Rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, presumably in retaliation for the murder of a black child, Gavin Cato.   

My lawyer friend advised me that his matter only resolved after some intense legal skirmishing and the lawyer was persuaded to disgorge the proceeds.   His impression was that the EDNY, at least in his opinion, constituted a hostile work environment.  

Thus, Mr. Inniss, metaphorically, finds himself like a man with a glock cocked against his temple, as he sits in anticipation of sentencing scheduled for Jan 23, 2021(?).

Mr. Inniss apparently fired his trial counsel, for whatever reason(s).  He may not have agreed with his lawyers.  He may now pursue his right to appeal and draw out the process.   

However, claims such as “ineffective assistance of counsel” have typically been rejected in the overwhelming majority of cases (1 in 5, according to some sources).   Similarly, the Judge’s Jury Charge will most likely have followed standard instructions in similar such cases.  It might even be argued that Inniss, the Former International Business Minister, did not have a jury of his peers.   Yet, none of these arguments may prevail on appeal.   Hopefully, Inniss, Tasker and/or any possible corruptocrat will emerge sadder, wiser and chastened, by experience.

Happy New Year, y’all!y

133 comments

  • The USA should deport him to Barbados after he has served his American sentence and he should be arrested by the RBPF as soon as he touches down at GAIA. Upon conviction in a Barbadian Court Mr. Inniss should be incarcerated in Dodds for the full 7 years and so should Mr. Tasker and Ms. Innes upon their convictions.
    Xxxxxxxxx

    AGREE 200 PERCENT WITH FEEDBACK

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  • @Donna January 2, 2021 10:26 AM “It did surprise me that Donville’s small FRY case was singled out for attention by the US. There has to be more in the mortar than the pestle. Unfortunately I am not au fait with how these things work. Maybe Artax knows more and can shed some light.”

    As far as the Americans are concerned a Cabinet Minister [and Donville was a Cabinet Minister when he did the deed for which he has been convicted] is NEVER EVER SMALL FRY.

    A Cabinet Minister is always a nice, big, fat, juicy catch.

    Don’t say I didn’t tell ya!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Dark child January 2, 2021 11:34 AM “Grantley Adams, a coloured, English educated lawyer – who later rose to prominence as the first black Prime Minister* of Barbados – had an English wife.”

    Grantley Adams was not colored. He was black like me. I met him when I was a child, when he came campaigning and he stopped outside of my parents house in our rural village to ask them to vote for him.

    Grantley Adams’ wife was not English. She was white Bajan born and raised.

    Errol Barrow’s wife was black American.

    Tom Adams’ wife is white English. She is still alive.

    Bree St. John’s wife is black Bajan. She is still alive.

    Erskine Sandiford’s wife is black Jamaican. She is still alive.

    Owen Arthur’s first wife was black Jamaican. His second wife is black Bajan. Both ladies are still alive.

    Freundel Stuart has no spouse.

    Mia Mottley has no spouse.

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  • @ Donna

    I don’t have any information other than what I read in the indictment and media. But, similarly to you, I was also surprised Donville Inniss’ “case was singled out for attention by the US.”

    He was charged with two counts of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering based on bribes he received from ICBL.

    The indictment basically indicated Innes and Tasker used two ‘false invoices’ for consultancy services rendered, to facilitate the transfer of bribes payments to Inniss, in the amounts of $16,536.73 and $20,000, through a USA bank account in the name of his friend’s dental company, when that company did not transact any actual business with ICBL.

    The dental company subsequently transferred the amounts of $16,000, $8,000, $9,000 and $2,750 to a US bank account in Inniss’ name, via cheque transactions.

    Perhaps it could be a situation where the cheque transfers aroused suspicion and the bank(s) involved contacted the authorities, or Inniss was ‘under the radar’ for a while.

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  • @Artax

    Maybe the Bermuda parent saw benefit to contacting the authorities to protect its reputation down the road?

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  • All Cabinet members, members of Parliament, judges, magistrates, commisioners of police, heads of the military and other high level officials regardless of party affiliation should ALWAYS assume that they are being watched.

    And people talk. People talk at elegant dinner and cocktail parties, people talk at modest restaurants, people talk at fast food places, people talk at the beach, at their children’s schools, people talk at their place of worship, people talk at weddings and funerals, people talk at corner shops and rum shops, people talk at gas stations, people talk at fetes and limes. People talk on Facebook, Instagram and on other social media. People even talk on BU.

    How do we know what a “spy” looks like? Do we believe that spies all look like James Bond? What if the tourist lady at your church is a spy? What if the very handsome guy at the chatting you up is a spy?

    I would say to all high ranking officials if you have not know the person “since before they were born” be very careful what you say. Talk only official government policy which is in the public domain, talk about what a wonderful lady your mother–may she rest in peace–was.

    I mean do we really know whether Donville is a double agent?

    Maybe I have been reading too much Ian Flemming.

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  • In my lifetime I am fairly certain that hundreds, maybe thousands of Bajans have been arrested and tried and convicted in the United States for everything for double murder [remember the old guy who killed his girlfriend in the fish market and who had previously killed 2 people in the USA, been convicted, served a long sentence and been sent home] I am certain that none of us can even remember his name now although he made an appearance in court in 2020, an appeal I think. The truth is, nobody cares about “little” people, nobody cares in Greg from Grazettes or Paul from Pondside is arrested in the USA. But a nice, fat, juicy former Cabinet Minister garners plenty of press. It is the difference between a Bajan police offices, catching Shona the shoplifter, again; and catching Buddy Brathwaite or Winston Hall. I mean nobody makes songs about the petty criminal Shona the shoplifter. Nobody cares.

    But a nice, fat, former government Minister, a real-real maguffy…

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    David January 2, 2021 7:46 PM
    @Artax
    The point @David is making is the salient one.
    It was ICBL’s parent, BF&M, who contacted the authorities. This would ‘lead us’ to believe, they [BF&M] had no knowledge of the payments. They have/had several other businesses, in addition to their then 51.4% stake in ICBL. And were concerned for their own skin, and the potential harm it could cause.
    The chances of the US authorities catching this matter, were likely slim to none.
    However. Given the timeline, how DI got no birdie whispers of pending trouble, is baffling.
    This might help
    https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/page/file/1089626/download

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  • @ NorthernObserver

    Yes, I agree with David BU.

    I read additional information, which also included the letter associated with the link you provided that one of the mitigating factors referenced by the US Government and origin of proceedings were ICBL made a voluntary self-disclosure of the transactions.

    Also listed on the indictment was, on August 17, 2015 a wire transfer in the amount of US$16,536.73 from a “Bermuda Company” (BF&M) account in Bermuda, to a bank account of a bank in Elmont, New York, in the name of Inniss’ friend’s dental practice.
    And, on April 18, 2016, another wire transfer in the amount of $20,000 from (BF&M) bank account, to the dental practice’s bank account.

    Remember, the crime originated in Barbados. After reading Sections 3 (1), 6 and 7 of the Barbados Prevention of Corruption Act, I’m wondering what are the reasons behind ICBL preferring to involve the US authorities and co-operate with them, rather than reporting the matter to RBPF?

    The insurance contracts involved cost Barbadian taxpayers US$686,827.50 (BD$1,373,655) and the profit realised from the illegal transaction, was US$93,940.19 (BD$187,880.38).

    I’m also wondering why would the US Court order ICBL to disgorge US$93,940.19, which was earned off the backs of Barbadian taxpayers and outside any US jurisdiction…….. and pay it to the US Treasury, rather than Barbados’ Treasury?

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  • The Harder They Come
    The Harder They Fall
    Al Capone died of cardiac arrest in 1947, but his decline began earlier. After his transfer to Alcatraz prison, his mental and physical condition deteriorated from paresis (a late stage of syphilis)
    Notorious criminal John Dillinger—America’s “Public Enemy No. 1″—was killed in a hail of bullets fired by federal agents.

    Like

  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United​ States.
    https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/office-of-foreign-assets-control-sanctions-programs-and-information

    Like

  • Artax,

    You are really wondering why they ordered the money to be paid in to them??????

    I know you aren’t really wondering.

    Like

  • “Now the satanic terrorist, Trump..”

    I thought he was a rapist?!

    This one a called the voice of the poor
    by the number one sound in the whole wide world

    Like

  • Off topic it seems like what we feared as far as possible covid community spread in Barbados has occured.This will no doubt test the efforts of the government and the frontline workers all because of idiotic behaviour of a few prison officers and BDF officers who should have known better.The folloqing persons should be happy Mariposa, CCC, Hal Austin , Baje and Waru plus the other daily doom and gloomers on BU.As for the rest of us let us hope the tireless health workers can contain this latest outbreak as much as possible with the help of all rightthinking bajans with the help of the almighty god above.Let,s pray for the best outcome.

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  • Above and beyond lets pray that God remove the stubbornness that has hardened Mia heart and which has given way for COVID to make way across the lives of many barbadians

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  • I am not hoping for the worst. I live here. BUT MIA AMOR MOTTLEY must be held accountable.

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  • “all because of idiotic behaviour of a few prison officers and BDF officers who should have known better.”

    so typical of the empty headed yardfowl….no it’s not prison officers and BDF soldiers to blame….IT’S MIA…she allowed diseased tourists into the country….they have no such authority, it’s Mia caused this, ya will not get away with blaming Black people for yall wicked actions. Intelligent people know better than to INVITE diseased people into their countries DURING A PLAGUE.

    only yardfowls are glad at Black people’s misery, yall support the thefts of people’s taxes, pension money, ya support racism, apartheid and disenfranchisment of Black people in Barbados….that’s more yall style.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Artax
    The US levied fines/disgorgement based on criminality attached to “laundering money” (on their soil). There is nothing preventing Barbadian courts from levying similar fines against ICBL for corruption? Nor against the participants in the bribery. It is not an either/or?
    I am unsure it was a reporting ‘preference’, as opposed to a need to deal with a foe who could cause a lot more pain, in the other (primary) business areas of BF&M. As has transpired, they have sold their interest in ICBL, they are ‘out’ of Barbados.
    I would ‘guess’, any sale included ‘insurance’ in the case of additional actions, related to the two payments?
    Appreciate why this topic is ‘newsworthy’ again. The sought extradition of Mr.Tasker to face DOJ charges. Nothing on co-charged Mrs Innes, who resigned from ICBL early in 2017, and much later (based on social media posts) returned home to Canada. We know from the much publicized Huawei employee Meng Wanzhou, Canada and the US have an extradition agreement.

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  • The United States government started extradition proceedings against former ICBL executive Ingrid Innes.

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  • What will be interesting is when Innes and Tasker give evidence in the US court on how the payments were authorised.

    Does the buck really stop at the Barbados CEO?

    Think about it.

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  • BID FOR INNES
    January 13 next extradition hearing for ex-ICBL boss
    By Maria Bradshaw mariabradshaw@antionnews.com
    Last October 5, Canadian officials granted authority to the United States to proceed with extradition charges against Ingrid Innes, the former chief executive officer of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL), now resident in Canada.
    Innes, a Guyanese national, was charged in 2019 by the US Department of Justice with three counts of money laundering and bribery, along with co-accused Barbadian Alex Tasker and former Government minister Donville Inniss.
    However, it has only recently been revealed that the US has started extradition proceedings against her.
    An official at the Public Affairs and Management Department of Justice Canada, in responding to a query from the Sunday Sun, said: “The United States has sought the extradition of Ms Innes. An Authority to Proceed was issued on October 5, 2020, for the Canadian offence of fraud on the government.
    “On November 25, 2020, Ms Innes had her first appearance before the Superior Court in Toronto and the matter was remanded to January 13, 2021.”
    He further explained that counsel for the Department of Justice was appearing on behalf of the United States government in the extradition proceeding, while Innes is being represented by Christi Hunter, a noted criminal defence lawyer.
    This newspaper also reached out to Hunter but received no response.
    The 64-year-old Innes was resident in Barbados from 2012 when she was appointed managing director and CEO of ICBL. In 2017, the board of directors announced she had resigned.
    In 2018, she and her husband Byren Innes became co-founders of Carilend, the first peer-to peer-lending site in Barbados.
    It was in January 2019 that the United States government unsealed an indictment against Innes and co-accused Tasker, then senior vicepresident of ICBL, but they were never arrested.
    They, along with Inniss, were alleged to be involved in a US$36 000 bribe between August 2015 and April 2016, which was allegedly offered to Inniss from ICBL, in violation of Barbadian law.
    The US alleges that Innes and Tasker made the offer to have Inniss use his official position as the Minister of Industry to renew the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation’s insurance contracts with ICBL. That money was allegedly routed through an American bank account in the name of a New York dental company, disguised as “consulting” fees.
    Fraudulent invoices
    During Inniss’ trial in the US last January, former chief financial officer (CFO) of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL), Kamante Millar, who was the first witness to give evidence, admitted that, under the instructions of Innes and Tasker, she wrote two fraudulent invoices for monies to be paid to Inniss.
    She told the court that in August 2015, she attended a meeting with them, at which Innes instructed her to make “an urgent payment” of a referral bonus to Inniss.
    She said she was uncomfortable with the request as Inniss was “politically exposed” and she enquired from Innes if she had cleared such a transaction with the company’s chairman, John Wight, to which Innes responded, “It’s fine”.
    She said she was given a piece of paper by Tasker which she subsequently prepared into an invoice for $16 536.73 to be paid to Inniss.
    One year later in 2016, Millar said she wrote a similar invoice also to be paid to Inniss for $20 000.
    Both payments were made in US currency and paid by BF& M, the majority stakeholder in ICBL.
    Millar said she was instructed to send the money to Inniss’ company, Crystal Dental Lab in the US. “I knew what I was doing was wrong because invoices usually come from external sources, not internally . . . it wasn’t authentic. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do but I felt I had no choice, so I did what the CEO wanted,” she told the court.
    Inniss, Innes and Tasker are facing up to 20 years in prison. Inniss is due to be sentenced later this month while Tasker is due to return to the District “A” Magistrates’ Court, Tuesday, January 12, to answer extradition proceedings.

    Source: Nation

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  • There is the question on the table – do we have players at BIDC culpable?

    Do we have other players in Barbados culpable?

    Should local authorities have acted to investigate/arrest locals by now?

    Is it too late?

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  • I am surprise at the legal effort given to investigating/punishing a $36 K crime.

    Is there more to follow? Another shoe to drop…

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  • We have discussed this so many times, it is nit about the amount.

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  • @ David January 10, 2021 5:38 AM
    “There is the question on the table – do we have players at BIDC culpable?
    Do we have other players in Barbados culpable?
    Should local authorities have acted to investigate/arrest locals by now?
    Is it too late?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You have resurrected an issue which was raised last year but covered up by the ‘pretend’ professional (but politically partisan) intrusion of Green(e) & Co.

    The then BoD and CEO must have been aware that the instruction from the minister was not Kosher- either legally or morally speaking- the same way the Millar finance lady was aware of what was going on was not ‘right’ both professionally and legally speaking especially when dealing with “politically-exposed” parties.

    Too besides (to use some good ole West Indian lingo), it is known in certain circles that the then perceived bribery transaction was brought to the attention of the local law enforcement agencies which, to use a well-worn idiom, turned a blind eye while pretending to have ears full of politically-manufactured wax.

    The country Barbados will have to carry on its back this now internationally-known monkey which has powdered its country’s face with this petty act of corrupting shame to last for a long time to come.

    “Instead of politicians, let the monkeys govern the countries; at least they will steal only the bananas!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

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  • This was the first article I found on the extradition matters
    https://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/barbadian-due-in-new-york-court/
    This article claims Inniss is to be sentenced in April 2021, while the Nation article posted today, claims “later this month”.
    The question remains, WHO knew WHAT and WHEN.
    @Crusoe’s question is one key. During the Inniss trial, under oath, the BF&M CEO, and ICBL Chair, Wight; denied knowing anything about the payments. And stated he had questioned the payments to both Innes and Tasker “to no avail”.
    Re: culpability of anyone at the BIDC, what one would really like to know was the decision making process. Was management or the Board squeezed?
    For accuracy I question the statement in the Nation “In 2018, she and her husband Byren Innes became co-founders of Carilend, the first peer-to peer-lending site in Barbados.” I ‘believe’ the involvement of Byren Innes in Carilend, pre-dated 2018.
    Meanwhile former Minister Inniss…”I was not bribed by anyone or any company in Barbados or anywhere and will continue to fight these charges and convictions.” This is at least one reason why the testimony of Innes and Tasker under oath would be beneficial, given the various reasons given by Kamante Millar as to WHAT the payments to Crystal Dental Labs were for.

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  • Is it coincidental the CEO during the period of the crime has ridden off into the sunset?

    https://bidc.org/business-news/ceos-farewell-message

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  • @Blogmaster
    “Is it too late?”
    this from the Caribbean Life news article I posted
    “for them to bring some five-year-old charges now for whatever reason? I don’t know if it is because Mr. Inniss is up there slipping through their fingers,” Pilgrim asked, implying that though convicted Inniss may escape prison time.”(quote)

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  • Decision on Tasker next month
    FORMER SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT at the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL), Alex Tasker, will know next month whether he will be ordered extradited to the United States for trial on money laundering charges.
    Yesterday, the 60-year-old made his second appearance in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court where arguments in the extradition matter were set for February 11 and 16. Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes, who presided, informed attorneys for both sides that his decision will be delivered after they had finished their submissions.
    “Unless there is something coming up that I am not seeing, you are more than likely going to get your decision when you all finish,” the Chief Magistrate said.
    “I am assuming those two days should be enough, so barring something else coming up, I figure we can get a decision on February 16. I am not aware of anything major. All the principles have been set out in the case done by former Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson,” he said.
    The United States is asking that Tasker, of Mayfair Terrace, Lead Vale, Christ Church, be extradited for trial on conspiracy to launder money and money laundering between August 2015 and April 2016 chrges.
    Questioned rush
    Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, who appeared with attorney Neville Reid, questioned the rush to hear Tasker’s matter, especially in light of the COVID-19 situation.
    “This is a matter in which the Crown suggest, based on my limited perusal of their documents, that this is related to things that happened in 2016 that are subservient to or parallel to charges brought against one Donville Inniss several years,” he argued.
    “There was no impediment to (the US Government) bringing this matter at any time earlier than now and I believe all of what is disclosed to me was in their bosom for some time,” Pilgrim told the court.
    He added he could not see the difference between the matter being heard now or in February or March.
    “It seems to me the Crown, and I mean the US brought this matter when they felt like; they handed it to the Crown here when they felt like, and I don’t see why I should now have to go into my calendar and put back things that I should be dealing with now,” Pilgrim argued.
    But Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale, who is representing the Government in association with Senior Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas, contended the extradition hearing was an urgent matter.
    “I care not about politics. It is not my job.
    If the US decides to keep a matter for 14 years and then sends it to Barbados and the Attorney General signs on to it, I am servant of the Crown. And if the Attorney General asks me to conduct a matter for extradition that the US now wants, regardless of how long it was in their bosom, I will respond,” Seale said.
    Not interested
    He said he was not interested in “what the US do, what they didn’t do or what they should do” but in the bundle before him that had sufficient to go ahead with the extradition.
    Chief Magistrate Weekes noted the matter had to “proceed at some time” and he adjourned it.
    Tasker remains on $200 000 bail with a surety; his passport stays in the custody of the court; he continues to report to the Glebe Police Station every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and is on a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
    Meanwhile, the extradition hearing in Canada against Ingrid Innes, charged out of the same circumstances, is set for February 3 via video conference. Canadian authorities granted the United States the okay to proceed with extradition case against the former chief executive officer of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL), now resident in Canada.
    Innes, a Guyanese, was charged in 2019 with three counts of money laundering and bribery, along with Tasker and former Government minister Donville Inniss.

    Source: Nation

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  • Call to hand over statements in Tasker case
    CHIEF MAGISTRATE IAN WEEKES has ordered the prosecution to hand over any relevant statements made by a former employee of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd against the company’s embattled former senior vicepresident Alex Tasker.
    And the parties will be back in court tomorrow to hear if those documents are available.
    Tasker, of Mayfair Terrace, Lead Vale, Christ Church, is wanted in the United States to face a trial of conspiracy to launder money and money laundering between August 2015 and April 2016.
    He is being represented by Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim and attorney Neville Reid, while Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale and Senior Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas appeared for the US government.
    Yesterday Pilgrim, who asked that he be given any statements of the company’s former chief financial officer Kamante Millar, argued that he was entitled to the disclosure of any statements the woman had made. He said it was a similar situation to a preliminary enquiry into an indictable matter but, in an extradition, “the duty of the Crown was even greater”.
    “My position is I am seeking disclosure; the Crown is saying no. I want the court to rule that I ought not to proceed in the absence of full disclosure,” he said.
    However, Seale said the Extradition Act recognised the proceedings as akin to a preliminary enquiry. He argued the question for the court was whether the bundle of documents before it was sufficient to order that Tasker be extradited.
    He added that the court could not call on the prosecution to provide the defence with such documents. “We are talking about evidence that may be in another place and a witness that may be in another place.”
    However, Chief Magistrate Weekes stressed the law required that he look at the matter in its entirety.
    “If there is a possibility that there exists information through which the court can broaden its view as to the matter, I believe that justice demands that I do that. It is not to say that it is pleasing one side over the other. But I have a serious responsibility in doing matters like this.”
    He added that any accused who was the subject of an extradition hearing would not be subject to penalties under local law, but faced penalties “elsewhere over which we have no control”.
    “I believe the law is clear that relevant disclosure should be provided,” he said, stressing he was not telling the prosecution how it should conduct its case.
    “But I can’t ignore the many cases which talk about the relevance of information for the defence. And if that relevance can be satisfied, I think that justice demands it. I would think, given the information disclosed . . . that the information requested should be provided.” He said if the Crown could not supply it, then it should give the court an explanation. (HLE)

    Source: Nation

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  • Chief Magistrate to hear case

    CHIEF MAGISTRATE IAN WEEKES will be the one hearing the submissions on the bundle of documents in the extradition hearing against former Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL) executive Alex Tasker.
    This came after he ruled that he could hear the matter even though he was the magistrate who had issued the provisional warrant for Tasker’s arrest. Tasker, a former senior vice-president at ICBL, of Mayfair Terrace, Leadvale, Christ Church, is wanted by the United States to face trial for conspiracy to launder money and money laundering between August 2015 and April 2016. Yesterday, Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, who appeared with attorney Neville Reid, questioned whether the “issuer of the warrant” should be the same magistrate to hear the extradition proceedings.
    Judicial process
    “The question we ask is, is that judicial process of a sufficiently high standard as to be near to, or akin to, the standard required for extradition? That the magistrate who makes a determination as to whether or not to issue the warrant, is he essentially asking himself on the presentation of the documents, is this a prima facie case that warrants my issuing a warrant or something close enough, in which case does the act contemplate that someone else will hear the proceedings?” Pilgrim asked.
    “We would submit that if those two parties are too close, it would amount to prejudicing the matter. We suggest another entity should perform the other task.”
    However, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale, who appeared with Senior Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas, argued there would be no prejudice if the same magistrate who issued the warrant heard the evidence because there were two different functions, albeit judicial functions.
    “A magistrate is a unique creature,” Seale argued. “He can hear and disabuse his mind of things that aren’t unique to the case.”
    The senior prosecutor noted there were times when a magistrate would sign off on a warrant for an accused; hear that same accused’s bail application with all the convictions, and then go on to find that person not guilty on the evidence.
    No bias
    “You hear and determine the facts. I am satisfied that the one magistrate can do the same things. There is no bias, no prejudice that will accrue,” he said.
    In the end, the Chief Magistrate turned down Pilgrim’s submission, saying he could not agree with it. He noted the principal issue was “one of threshold”.
    He said Phase 1 of the proceedings was the United States requesting the provisional warrant for the arrest of Tasker. Phase 2, the Chief Magistrate explained, was an assessment of the information as to whether the requesting state could satisfy the law.
    “The threshold in the issuing of the provisional warrant is different from Phase 2 and the actual body of information,” he said.
    Pilgrim then signalled his intention to argue three more points of law, including that conspiracy was not a Scheduled offence and therefore Tasker could not be indicted for it.
    The matter was adjourned until June 29.

    Source: Nation

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