Fri | Sep 22, 2023

‘Them can’t charge nobody’ - Wildman argues that court shown evidence that clients illegally arrested

Published:Tuesday | February 11, 2020 | 12:28 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Evidence was yesterday brought before the Supreme Court showing, according to attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, that the police personnel who charged former education minister Ruel Reid and Caribbean Maritime University President Professor Fritz Pinnock were authorised officers of the Financial Investigations Division (FID).

Wildman, who represents Reid and Pinnock, said that the police who charged his clients did so unlawfully, as a full court panel, comprising Justices David Batts, Chester Stamp and Stephane Jackson Haisley, hears the renewed application for leave for judicial review.

“The police officers are authorised officers under the (FID) act, so them can’t charge nobody,” Wildman said yesterday in a brief interview with The Gleaner.

Part 56.5 (1) of the Supreme Court of Jamaica Civil Procedure Rules 2002 states that “where the application for leave is refused by the judge or is granted on terms … the applicant may renew it by applying in any matter involving the liberty of the subject or in any criminal cause or matter to a full court or in any other case to a single judge sitting in open court.”

Reid and Pinnock renewed their leave of judicial review application in accordance with this rule.

Last October, Reid; his wife Sharen; their daughter Sharelle; as well as Pinnock and Brown’s Town division Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence were arrested and charged following a yearlong corruption probe into the Ministry of Education and the CMU.

Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, in December, rejected the application for judicial review by the men to challenge the criminal charges brought against them.

At the time, they had contended that the FID was not empowered by law to bring the charges against them and, therefore, acted illegally.

They further contended that the FID was purely an investigative body and did not have the legal authority to bring criminal charges or obtain a fiat from the director of public prosecutions to prosecute them.

Attorneys representing the FID are today expected to give a response.