Donville Inniss’ File Missing from Mottley’s Red Bag

BREAKING: Alex Tasker ordered extradited


It is also a different version of how the story got out than what our own Attorney-General said last Thursday after the verdict was handed down. He said: “It is significant that the conviction came about because individuals who had knowledge of the events were prepared to speak out and to give evidence about wrongdoing.” The AG added: “This is something that is required at all levels in Barbados’ society whether dealing with the scourge of corruption or the scourge of gun violence.

Donville Inniss Case Points to Endemic Corruption in Barbados

The traditional media is off and running with the big headlines about the sentence federal District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto is scheduled to deliver today in New York in the Donville Inniss matter. It is the story traditional media will have a healthy appetite for because of flagging circulation.

Mia’s Red Bag has come up empty so far


The concern of the blogmaster confirmed in the deliberations during the Donville Inniss trial is the strong inference there is pervasive corrupt behaviour in the way business is conducted by some PUBLIC and PRIVATE officials in Barbados. Successive governments over the years have paid lip service to unearthing and punishing corruption even in the face of obvious indications of wrong doing. The Mia Mottley government is better placed than her predecessors given the unprecedented mandate handed to her government to do something about it. It is no secret however to those in the know that Donville and Mia are bosom buddies.

The following is a blog repost from January 20, 2020 which captures key concerns by the blogmaster, the late journalist Patrick Hoyos and the BU family.

Donville Inniss Case Points to Endemic Corruption in Barbados

The blogmaster found the Patrick Hoyos article to be – without prolix – a good summary of the Donville Inniss matter. Especially as it pertains to the inference other payments were made to Donville Inniss and that bribery by elected officials was commonplace in Barbados. Although we have the Attorney General et al saying that local laws would not have permitted prosecution of Inniss this position was challenged during the Inniss trial.

The blogmaster’s wish is that we have a dispassionate debate in Barbados and a call to action by our officials regarding the honest prosecution of public officials. It is ironic former Speaker of the House MICHAEL CARRINGTON and Adriel Brathwaite, former Attorney General showed support for Inniss by attending the trial in New York. CARRINGTON’s legacy will be that a High Court judge had to issue a court order for him to release monies due his client 70+ John Griffiths, the blogmaster will remember Brathwiate for promising to report to parliament the status of Mia Mottley’s qualification (LEC) to practice before the Courts of Barbados. He never did.

The time has come to arrest the moral and ethical rot- add criminal. We have started to experience the negative fallout of pushing our heads in the sand.

Time for the authorities to do a job.

Time for the Prime Minister, Attorney General and stakeholders to lead the charge.

Importantly, time for John Citizens to hold officials accountable.

Read full text of BU blog

817 thoughts on “Donville Inniss’ File Missing from Mottley’s Red Bag

  1. Attorney appeals for Inniss’ release
    By Maria Bradshaw
    Former Government minister Donville Inniss has made a last-ditch effort to get out of prison, with his attorney reiterating to the appeals court in the United States that Inniss’ two-year conviction for money laundering should be overturned.
    Inniss will find out in the next few months if his appeal is successful.
    Replying to prosecutors’ arguments for the conviction to remain, attorney Joel Hirschhorn submitted a 19-page brief to the court on April 28, outlining perceived errors which he said were made during the 2020 trial.
    Inniss, a former Minister of International Business, is serving two years in a US federal prison for laundering bribe payments from a Barbados-based insurance company through banks on Long Island, New York. He will also spend two years of supervised probation.
    Among other things his counsel submitted were that the jury instructions were erroneous and prejudicial, the conspiracy instruction was unjust, and the jury was not instructed on all elements of the specified unlawful activity charged in the indictment.
    Hirschhorn argued that the way the court defined conduct which violates the money laundering charge was contrary to the ordinary, everyday understanding of what money laundering is.
    “Money laundering, as the term is commonly understood, first requires generation of ‘proceeds from an unlawful activity which, through subsequent transactions, are made to appear legitimate,” he said. He added that the government failed to prove that his client laundered the proceeds of the alleged bribe payments he received because the series of wire transfers at issue represented the completion of the bribery scheme and did not independently constitute money laundering.
    Hirschhorn further charged that the district court’s general conspiracy, substantive money laundering, accomplice testimony and specified unlawful activity instructions were “clearly erroneous”.
    “[The] appellant recognises that his trial counsel requested the conspiracy instruction he now challenges, as well as the government’s view that any potential error resulting from the instruction was ‘invited’. However, rigid application of procedural rules should not preclude review of substantively unjust actions, especially when it is a defendant’s attorney, not the defendant himself, whose faulty decision-making created the error,” he submitted.
    He also pointed out that the use of the word “criminals” in the conspiracy instruction was highly prejudicial to Inniss.
    “The language of general conspiracy instructions used in other federal circuits is much more neutral than the one at issue here, primarily because they do not employ the word ‘criminals’. Therefore, it is not far-fetched to think that the language of the conspiracy instruction invited jurors (who presumably do not associate with criminals) to assume that ‘birds of a feather flock together’.”
    Instruction knocked
    Hirschhorn also knocked the substantive money laundering instruction as being inconsistent.
    “Contrary to the government’s assertion, the general intent instruction that the government need not prove the defendant was aware of the specific provision of the law that he is charged with violating or any other specific provision, providing that he had knowledge that his conduct was, in a general sense, unlawful, was inconsistent with the trial court’s prior statement regarding the need for a specific intent to promote the carrying-on of the bribery scheme,” he said.
    “Again, to the untrained ear, it would be difficult to reconcile, on the one hand, the need to find that the appellant specifically intended to participate in a bribery scheme violating a particular Barbadian law, while, on the other, hearing that he need not have been aware of any provision of the law he allegedly violated, so long as he knew it was unlawful ‘in a general sense’.”
    Furthermore, he said the accomplice witness instruction was also erroneous and prejudicial as “when read in its entirety, it is glaringly obvious that the instruction improperly vouched for the credibility of the immunised accomplice witness testimony”.
    The attorney told the appeals court the jury was not instructed on all elements of the specified unlawful activity (SUA) charged in the indictment, adding the US government assumed a burden of proving the SUA in this case was a bribe relating to a Government contract or subcontract.
    “It is, therefore, not disputed that the jury was instructed it could find guilt only upon finding that the bribe at issue was in respect of any matter or transaction whatsoever, actual or proposed, in which the Crown or public body is concerned . . . .”
    He added: “The district court’s failure to list an essential element of the charged SUA baited the jury to fish for a guilty verdict in polluted waters. As result, the burden the government assumed in its charging decision was lessened.”
    Hirschhorn concluded by telling the court that the convictions must be vacated: “For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of conviction should be reversed, and this cause remanded for further proceedings as appropriate.”

    Source: Nation

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