Reid, Pinnock return to court today

Reid, Pinnock return to court today

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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FORMER Education Minister Ruel Reid and his co-accused, Professor Fritz Pinnock, will this morning reappear in the St Andrew Parish Court.

The two, who are facing multiple corruption charges related to the education ministry and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), were released on bail on October 10 last year following their arrest the day before.

On December 24, the Supreme Court struck down an application from the men's attorneys for the court to throw out the fraud case against them on the grounds that their arrest by the Financial Investigations Division (FID) was illegal.

Reid and Pinnock — who is on special leave as president of the CMU — are facing charges of breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, conspiracy to defraud, misconduct in a public office at common law and breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The accused were detained after months of investigations while controversial reports of multimillion-dollar contracts for consultancies and other services to the CMU played out in the public domain.

Seven months prior to the arrests Reid was dismissed from his position as education minister as corruption questions and rumours surfaced.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives descended into chaos when the Opposition and Speaker Pearnel Charles clashed over whether Parliament should debate the report, given that it is a matter now in court.

The report was tabled yesterday after a week of media stories from the findings.

Pinnock, Reid, his wife Sharen, their daughter Sharelle, and Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence were arrested and charged in relation to the alleged corruption probe at the CMU and the education ministry. They were all granted bail in the St Andrew Parish Court on October 10.

— Alphea Saunders

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