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Mar 3, 2009

…But D.P.P. is considering other options

Story PictureBut while the Fonseca camp is in a celebratory mood, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt, was taken aback by the ruling. At the PI on February fifth Fonseca’s three attorneys, Dickie Bradley, Francis Fonseca and Michael Peyrefitte took about four hours in submissions as to why there was no evidence to proceed to the Supreme Court with the case. And this morning the Magistrate ruled in favour of Fonseca. Despite the turn of events today, Branker-Taitt says she is not deterred by the decision and is already considering other options.

Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt, D.P.P.
“Surprised yes, definitely surprised but a trial attorney always expects the unexpected so no matter how remote one thinks the possibility is one has to always consider these eventualities. We had direct evidence that he was involved in giving directions on the very day that the agreement would have been signed, which amounted to Theft.”

Jules Vasquez, Channel Seven
“But he didn’t sign anything.”

Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt
“It doesn’t matter that he didn’t sign anything. He gave instructions for the signing of the agreement knowing full well what the agreement would have contained and what would have been done later on with the money once it had changed hands. The evidence, in my view, is clear, the law is clear and I think that he should have been committed.”

Michael Peyrefitte, Lead Defense Attorney, Ralph Fonseca
“It is not surprising to me at all, given the evidence, given the charge and given the particular accused. Ralph Fonseca was not the Minister of Finance. In her statement, Audrey Wallace, the C.E.O. in the Office of the Prime Minister stated very clearly that the decision to spend the money how it was spent was the decision of the Prime Minister who was the Minister of Finance and I think on that alone, surely on the charge of Theft, given in these circumstances, Ralph Fonseca could never be committed to the Supreme Court for trial. It’s just not the evidence and the law.”

Marion Ali
“Is there something that you can come back with, perhaps other charges you’re looking at or can look at against Mr. Fonseca?”

Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt
“I can invoke the Indictable Procedure Act and either take the matter to the Supreme Court and ask a judge to commit or I can seek to reopen the inquiry here to have further evidence taken. It is not a ruling that I agree with, with the greatest of respect to him so we will take the matter further. It is not that my view has changed because of the way in which the Magistrate has ruled.”

Meanwhile, there is word that the team of attorneys for the other defendant facing the same charge, former Prime Minister Said Musa, will seek judicial review of Magistrate Jones’s decision on February tenth to commit him to a Supreme Court trial.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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