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Feb 17, 2015

Attorney for Bahamians Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles Says FIU Messed Up

Also in the Magistrate’s Court, Bahamians Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles were today back before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. The Financial Intelligence Unit is contending that the men tried to leave the country without declaring cash they had on them, in excess of ten thousand dollars. The prosecution rested its case on January fifteenth, and today it was the defence’s turn. Attorney Godfrey Smith opened by seeking a no case submission since he says the FIU messed up. Smith explained as he and his clients exited the courtroom at midday.

 

Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Defendants

“We as counsel for the defendants made a no case submission to the Courts. A no case submission simply means that we are of the view that after the FIU had advanced all its evidence they had failed to make a case that the defendants, our clients, had committed an offence.”

 

Godfrey Smith

Reporter

“Sir what is that argument you were making about at which point did your clients commit an offence?”

 

Godfrey Smith

“Basically the law says that if you are leaving Belize without making a declaration of funds to the FIU, you have committed an offence. Our basic argument is that the Police intercepted, grabbed them…ambushed them in our view, at the point where they had just checked into the airport on a chartered flight. They had not progressed beyond that point to cross any booths, immigration point, anything like that, at which point we say they would have had the opportunity to make a declaration. It was a chartered flight…they could have checked in and gone back down to the FIU to make a declaration. So in short we are saying that the FIU acted prematurely, ambushed the defendants and by doing that they made a fatal error in establishing their case. That is our argument in the no case submission.”

 

The decision on the no case submission will be handed down on February twenty-fifth.  

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