Friday 28 February, 2020

Jamaican QC to be sentenced next month on corruption conviction in T&T

Jamaican-born Queen's Counsel, Vincent Nelson, who pleaded guilty for his role in a high-profile corruption case involving a former attorney general and an opposition legislator in Trinidad and Tobago, is to be sentenced on February 28.

Nelson pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to commit money laundering, misbehaviour in public office, and conspiracy to commit an act of corruption, during a plea bargain hearing on June 6 last year.

As part of the plea deal, Nelson has agreed to turn state witness and testify against former attorney general, Anand Ramlogan, and opposition senator, Gerald Ramdeen, according to media reports from Trinidad. That matter is to be heard on April 28, but could be heard earlier than was initially scheduled.

The Jamaican was initially to be sentenced on Thursday, but the matter was pushed back to Friday for another private hearing before Justice Malcolm Holdip in Port of Spain, then to February 28.

The case is being held in-camera based on an order that was granted last June, which gave the judge the discretion to hold what would normally be an open-court hearing, in private. Additionally, the records of the case are to be sealed and not revealed to the public.

No information was revealed on the two days of hearing this week, but it was heard that Nelson's bail was extended until sentencing.

The initial order for him to leave Trinidad to return to the United Kingdom, where he resides and is being treated for a medical condition, remains in place.

The offences for which Nelson is charged are alleged to have occurred between October 1, 2010 and September 9, 2015. They involved a series of financial transactions and alleged rewards in the form of legal fees that were paid to him for representation in state briefs which were obtained while Ramlogan was attorney general.

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