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Money laundering charges dropped against local attorney as a result of legal blunder
Published on September 13, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Last Friday, at a hearing before chief justice Edwin Goldsbrough in Grand Turk, the Crown asked the court to void the prosecution of local attorney Norman Saunders on money laundering charges.

Counsel for the prosecution explained that the attorneys acting for Saunders had raised an objection to the decision to prosecute him.

“The prosecution did not accept their argument but had taken this course, because the point was a highly technical one that did not affect the case against any other persons and in order to avoid unnecessary delay and legal costs.” the special investigation and prosecution team (SIPT) said in a subsequent statement.

The court was told that the decision to prosecute will be retaken and that the prosecution would resist any application for costs.

The chief justice described the decision as “pragmatic and expedient."

The SIPT apparently made a fundamental mistake in charging Saunders without having the constitutional power to do so.

Under the new constitution, such authority is vested in the director of public prosecutions (DPP) who had not at the time delegated those powers to members of the SIPT.

It is understood that DPP Joanne Meloche has now formally delegated such powers to special prosecutor Helen Garlick who heads the SIPT.
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