JAMAICA court to hear arguments over bail for former governor
JAMAIA (Reuters) – A court in Jamaica will hear arguments on Thursday on whether to dismiss the charges of corruption against former Jamaica’s President and former premier.
The court will also decide whether to hear an appeal on a judge’s ruling last week that dismissed the charges against President William Donald McDonough and former Premier John Gwynne, as well as two former judges who were accused of taking bribes.
McDonald and Gwynnne are on trial in a separate case.
The charges were dismissed after McDonoh, the first sitting president to leave office in more than two decades, was found not guilty in a $2.3 billion graft case.
McDonoh has denied wrongdoing and called the case a politically motivated attempt to derail his administration.
McDONOH was charged in October by a jury of three men who were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government.
They were sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison.
The men are seeking a retrial, arguing that prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that McDonogh had conspired with Gwynniks in the attempted bribe-for-gold-smuggling scheme.
Gwynnys lawyer, Benjamin D. Taylor, has asked the court to set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment.
Taylor, who represented Gwynnan in the case, said on Thursday that Mcdonough and Gwenne have not committed any crime.
He also questioned the role of an independent court, noting that Mc Donough had previously called the allegations against him a political conspiracy and that he had resigned as governor last year.
“The evidence of the government’s case is overwhelming, so the court has no choice but to dismiss these charges,” Taylor said.
Mc Donough was not immediately available for comment on the case.
Glynne and McDonohn, who were in office from 2006 to 2016, had been in jail since their arrests in June.
Mc Donaldohn’s lawyer, Daniel R. Smith, said he would continue to argue for a retry.
“The case will be heard, and we are hopeful that it will be dismissed,” Smith said.