Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Prosecutors pushing to amend charges

Published:Wednesday | November 27, 2019 | 12:38 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

The prosecutors in the Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud case made an application yesterday to have some counts on the indictment list amended and add another based on evidence given since the start of the trial.

With just over 30 counts on the list, the prosecutor applied to have counts 10, 12 and 13 reworded, count 19 removed, and one count added.

Count 10, which refers to former deputy superintendent of roads and works at the corporation, Sanja Elliott, being in possession of criminal property contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) states: “Sanja Elliott, between the 1st day of April 2014 and the 31st day of December 2014 in the parish of Manchester, did possess the sum of $12,200,000 and at such time of possession knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that said sum was criminal property.”

The prosecution is seeking to amend the date to January 1 to December 31, 2014 and decrease the sum to $10,070,000.

In relation to count 12, another count of possession of criminal property, related to Elliott, this time to land, the prosecution requested changing the date from April 2014 to between September 2011 and December 2013.

Engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property is count 13, and the request was made to change the word ‘purchasing’ to ‘construction of dwelling house’.

The request was also made to add a count in relation to accused Dwayne Sibbles, who is employed by Elliott as a caretaker, accusing him of causing the fraudulent encashment of a cheque amounting to $375,000.

According to the prosecution, the evidence led by a witness whose name appeared on the cheque in question revealed that the witness did not cause the encashment of the cheque and did not endorse it.

They said according to the handwriting expert, the signature on the back of the cheque was that of Sibbles.

The prosecutor was chided by presiding Judge Ann-Marie Grainger, who, out of concern for an unnecessary adjournment, questioned why the application for amendments was not done sooner and whether the information needed for same was not earlier available.

Former Mandeville Mayor Brenda Ramsay was recalled to the stand yesterday and responded briefly to questions of procedural operations at the corporation.

Among the areas she spoke to were financial management and approval of roadworks by councillors.

The matter continues on December 12.