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Ruel Reid, Fritz Pinnock court matter hits snag

Attorney Hugh Wildman
 
Former Education Minister Ruel Reid and Caribbean Maritime University President Fritz Pinnock have been denied leave to go to the Privy Council in their quest to have the corruption case against them thrown out.
 
Their attorney, Hugh Wildman, has challenged the validity of the charges.
 
He has argued that the Financial Investigations Division (FID) is an investigative body and does not have legal authority to bring criminal charges or obtain a fiat from the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute the defendants.
 
Mr. Wildman said the FID therefore acted illegally.
 
But Chief Parish Judge Chester Crooks ruled that the case was properly before the court.
 
On Friday, Mr. Wildman told Radio Jamaica News that he will apply directly to the Privy Council for special leave to have the matter heard. 
 
"I don't think that the issues have been dealt with in terms of what is it that we're trying to do. What we're saying is that he RM (Resident Magistrate's) court is not an alternative remedy to challenge the decision of the FID to institute criminal charges against the applicants. We're saying the proper procedure is to go by way of judicial review. So the merits of the application has not been dealt with as yet. All they are saying is we should do that in the RM court, which we are saying is not the appropriate forum for that," he sought to explain.  
 
Mr. Wildman took the matter to the Supreme Court and then to the Court of Appeal where his arguments were again rejected.
 
Mr. Pinnock, Mr. Reid, his wife Sharon, their daughter Sharelle, as well as Councillor for the Brown's Town Division Kim Brown Lawrence are facing corruption charges, including conspiracy to defraud, misconduct in a public office at common law, and breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
 
        


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