Thursday, September 27, 2012

DPP still going after former PM Basdeo Panday

File: Former PM Basdeo Panday and his daughter, Mickela Panday
A High Court judge on Wednesday granted Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard leave for judicial review of of magistrate's decision to acquit former prime minister Basdeo Panday on a charge of failing to declare a London bank account to the Integrity Commission.

The state had three months to appeal. Gaspard exercised that option and won in a ruling delivered by Justice James Aboud.

On June 26, Magistrate Marcia Murray acquitted Panday, who was facing three charges under the Integrity in Public Life Act of 1987, for failing to declare the details of an account held in England at the National Westminster Bank.

In March 2006, Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls found Panday guilty and sentenced him to two years in prison. Panday appealed and won at the Privy Council, which ruled on the basis of political interference but at the same time ordered a retrial.

In her ruling on the case in June this year, the magistrate ruled that the Integrity Commission had failed to comply with the provisions of the Integrity in Public Life Act.

She said: “The misconduct of the Integrity Commission was so serious that it would undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and bring it into disrepute. The court is therefore compelled to stop these proceedings to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Panday’s daughter, attorney Mickela Panday told the Guardian newspaper she didn't know the matter was listed for hearing. She said her father’s legal team would await the DPP’s review before responding.

A hearing is scheduled for October 19.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
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