FORMER Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill was yesterday re-arrested in a drama-filled day at court that started with the stoppage of his fraud trial by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and the revelation that a permanent secretary was the one who originally posted Hill's $15-million bail.
Robert Rainford -- the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice and who is now with the Local Government Ministry -- was yesterday identified in the Home Circuit Court as the man who posted Hill's bail after the Cash Plus boss was arrested in 2008.
The revelation was made during an application which saw Justice Lloyd Hibbert readmitting Hill to bail, less than a half-hour after Hill was re-arrested and charged on an amended indictment.
Hill, however, had to spend the night in jail as Rainford is currently off the island on official business and was unable to post his bail yesterday.
Hill's arrest came hours after the DPP entered a conditional nolle prosequi ending Hill's fraud trial, meaning that a new trial is to commence before a fresh panel of jurors at a date to be set.
But the prosecution's actions drew the ire of Hill's attorneys -- Valerie Neita-Robertson and Deborah Martin -- who felt that Hill was being punished for the blunder on the part of the Office of the DPP.
"The process has been hijacked by the prosecution," said Neita-Robertson. "You can't have a man on trial and you blunder and he's to suffer for it."
For her part, Martin said: "It's a pure and naked abuse of power by the director of public prosecutions to use a nolle prosequi to redirect the course of a trial."
Martin also spoke of a possible constitutional challenge, as she's of the view that the DPP's power doesn't allow her to end an ongoing trial only to bring the matter back on the same charges at a later date.
The lawyers' comments came at the end of an eventful day, whose bland start never betrayed the fiasco ahead.
The day started with Inger Hainsley-Bennett, of the Companies Office of Jamaica, being called to continue her evidence which she started last week.
But before she could take the witness stand, Neita-Robertson informed Justice Paulette Williams that she had some things she needed to place on record.
The jurors were excused and Neita-Robertson complained about the prosecution's failure to disclose to the defence documents, including bank records for Cash Plus Ltd. She said the information requested last Friday was paramount to Hill's defence. She said the prosecution hadn't as much as informed her of a possible date by which the further disclosure would be made.
The request for disclosure relates to documents served on the defence by the prosecution last week when it amended the particulars of the indictment regarding the fraud charges against Hill.
Hill, at the start of yesterday's proceedings, entered not guilty pleas on the amended indictment.
Neita-Robertson said that the amendment of the indictment had altered the nature of the charge against Hill and requested "adequate time" to better prepare.
In response to queries from Justice Paulette Williams, lead prosecutor Claudette Thompson acknowledged that Hill wouldn't get a fair trial without disclosure of the material requested.
As a result, Williams asked Thompson to update DPP Paula Llewellyn on the matter to find out her intention. By midday, the nolle prosequi was entered and the jurors dismissed.
Martin tried raising an objection to the DPP's decision to bring back the matter but was cut off by Williams. Hill's bail was extended after the setting of a May 17 date for plea and case management.
But later that afternoon Williams asked counsel for both sides -- as well as Hill who was at home at the time -- to return to court for two o'clock. Back in court, Williams said that in light of the DPP taking the matter out of the hands of the court, she shouldn't have set the return date.
Hill was subsequently arrested in the halls of the court and charged, drawing the ire of his lawyers who said that the prosecution could have informed them of their plans or even ask them to bring him in today for that purpose.
In offering Hill bail, Hibbert set a May 17 mention date and ordered that the prosecution serve all the relevant documents on the defence.
Carlos Hill being arrested in April 2008.