The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appealed the decision of Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, to discharge former Ministry of National Mobilization employees Denville Thomas and Learie Johnson, on charges of defrauding and stealing from the nation’s Public Assistance Fund, four years ago.
And the DPP Sejilla McDowall has served notices of appeal on the parties involved.
Thomas and Johnson, who were charged with obtaining property by deception, making and using false instruments, theft, and conspiracy to commit theft, were cleared of all charges at the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) on December 28, 2021, after the Chief Magistrate ruled that there was not enough evidence at that stage, to commit them to stand trial at the High Court.
The ruling came following a no case submission by attorney Grant Connell who represented Johnson. Thomas was unrepresented.
The DPP has appealed: that the learned Chief Magistrate erred when she ruled that there was no case to answer for Denville Thomas and Learie Johnson; in circumstances where only part of the evidence was challenged in the no case submission,; and where otherwise, the case did not fall within either limb of Galbraith.
Galbraith is the case law which is used to guide the court on the criteria as to when a no case submission should be upheld or overruled.
The other grounds of appeal are that the decision of the learned Chief Magistrate to discharge both Thomas and Johnson of all charged is unsupported in law, and by the evidence led, and that the learned Chief Magistrate did not properly give consideration to the evidential value of thee electronically recorded interviews of both Thomas and Johnson, though these were tendered, and this was unreasonable.
In his no case submission, Connell had argued that there was no evidence to show that Johnson created a false instrument, and that the prosecution failed to show the nexus between the monies taken from the defendants when they were arrested, and what was allegedly handed over as public assistance payments by authorized individuals.
Source ; The Vincentian