Judge rules that defence shares document with prosecution

Judge rules that defence shares document with prosecution

Observer writer

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Parish Judge Ann Marie Grainger yesterday ruled that defence counsel make available to the prosecution, a statement by Sanja Elliott one of the accused in the Manchester Municipal Corporation $400-million fraud case, being heard by the Manchester Parish Court.

Norman Godfrey, attorney representing Elliott, the corporation's former deputy superintendent of road and works, had declined a request from lead prosecutor Channa Ormsby to have the Crown view certain contents of the statement. The court was told that the prosecution could not locate its copy of Elliott's statement to the police when he was arrested in 2016 along with seven other persons before the court.

Elliott's statement had been shown to prosecution witness, Detective Corporal Fabian Parnell, the arresting officer, to help resolve conflicting accounts as to the source of cash seized by Parnell at Elliott's residence.

On viewing the statement, Parnell, agreed that Elliott, in his statement, had given only one source how he came in possession of the money. The prosecution had suggested that Parnell's evidence had stated three “versions” of the source of the cash. Defence counsel objected to the use of the word “version” as it suggested a “conflict” (in the accounting of the source). Judge Grainger agreed that the word “version” had connotations and the prosecution agreed to withdraw the word.

A request by the prosecution to have the defence share the document during the Crown's re-examination of witness Parnell was refused by the defence. However, in considering arguments from both prosecution and defence, the judge ruled in favour of the prosecution. Crown Counsel Ormsby, in her submission, had cited authority supported by the Supreme Court of Jamaica.

The others before the court are former senior staff members of the Manchester Municipal Corporation, David Harris, director of finance, and Kendale Roberts, works overseer; Elliott's wife and parents, Tasha Gay Elliott and Edwardo and Myrtle Elliott, and bank employee, Radcliffe McLean.

Trial will resume in the Porus Division of the Manchester Parish Court today.

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