Defence accuses prosecution of being party to witness interferenceTuesday, January 07, 2020
BY JONATHAN MORRISON
PORUS, Manchester — Two attorneys of the five-member team representing the eight accused in the Manchester Municipal Corporation multimillion-dollar fraud trial made damning submissions in court yesterday, accusing the prosecution of being party to the interference of two witnesses in the high-profile case.
The Crown, which yesterday closed its case in the Porus courthouse before presiding judge Ann-Marie Grainger, will have its opportunity to respond to the accusations made by defence attorneys Norman Godfrey and Delford Morgan at the end of submissions by the other members of the defence team, when the trial resumes today.
The defence states that one of the witnesses, under cross-examination during a past sitting, “pointed out in open court” two of the prosecutors whom the witness said were present when a then police sergeant, according to Godfrey, told the witness, “what would be visited upon him, if he did not testify in a particular way”.
As a result of what Godfrey described as the “admonition” from the police, the witness's subsequent testimony in court was “at variance” to the original statement he had given to the police.
In supporting his colleague, Morgan went further to suggest that the “undue and improper influence over the witnesses... constitutes the ingredients of a common-law offence of interfering with a witness”.
He gave the court an undertaking to cite authority in law when the hearing resumes today, to support his claim that there is a likelihood that an offence has been committed.
Sanja Elliott, the former deputy superintendent in charge of road and works at the municipal corporation, his employee Dwayne Sibblies, and his wife Tashagay Elliott-Goulbourne are represented by Godfrey. Sanja's parents, Edwardo and Myrtle Elliott are represented by Morgan.
The others accused in the alleged conspiracy to defraud the corporation of $400 million of public funds are former senior personnel of the corporation David Harris and Kendale Roberts, and former commercial bank employee Radcliffe McLean.
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