Defence says no case made against GBTI directors in contempt trial

Attorneys on Tuesday presented no-case submissions on behalf of the eight Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) directors, who are charged with failing to comply with a court order.

The eight accused are Robin Stoby, SC, who is also Chairman of the Board; Edward Anand Beharry, Chairman of Edward B Beharry and Sons Ltd; Suresh Beharry, Vice-Chairman of Edward B Beharry and SonsLtd; Richard Isava, an investment banker; Shaleeza Shaw; Carlton James; Basil Mahadeo; and Kathryn Eytle-McLean.

These eight directors are on trial before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a joint charge that on September 7th, 2017, they failed to comply with an order issued by the acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, for the production of documents for an ongoing criminal investigation.

Attorney Edward Luckhoo, who presented to the court written submission on behalf of the defendants, also made an oral submission highlighting key points from the written submissions.

In his submission, he noted that there were several grounds for their no-case submissions and he argued that it is the defence’s position that any of the grounds by themselves would be sufficient for the court to uphold the submission that there is no case which the accused ought to be called to answer.

He stated that the prosecution had not established that there was a failure to produce documents in contravention of the production order.

Additionally, the attorney stated that the prosecution did not put to the court all the documents that they would have received. He added that if the prosecution did not tender all the documents received, then it would be difficult to determine whether or not there was compliance with the production order.

It was further stated that the evidence led by the prosecution failed to prove that there was no reasonable cause for non-compliance of the production order.

Luckhoo noted that the production order must be clear and capable of being complied with in its entirety, before adding that the production order before the courts is flawed.

The matter was later adjourned until January 4th, 2019, when the prosecution is expected to reply.

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