Sunday 16 February, 2020

Reid, Pinnock and other co-accused expected back in court on Thursday

Ruel Reid and Professor Fritz Pinnock among police and other personnel as they made their first court appearance while in custody on October 10 last year.

Ruel Reid and Professor Fritz Pinnock among police and other personnel as they made their first court appearance while in custody on October 10 last year.

The sacked, former Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid, and the embattled President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, are scheduled to make their second appearance in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday on numerous fraud and corruption-related charges.

The charges include breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, conspiracy to defraud, misconduct in a public office at common law, and breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The charges arose from probes into a major corruption scandal involving the Education Ministry and the CMU, which investigators said involved some $56 million.

The two accused men will be joined by their co-accused, Reid’s wife, Sharen, hi daughter, Sharrelle, as well as Kim Brown-Lawrence, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor for the Brown’s Town Division of the St Ann Municipal Corporation.

The five were granted bail when they first appeared in court on October 10 last year, one day after they were dramatically arrested and charged following simultaneous, pre-dawn raids across three parishes.

Reid was granted bail in the sum of $3 million with one or two sureties. His wife was granted bail in the sum of $1 million, and his daughter, $500,000.

They were ordered to report to the Matilda's Corner Police Station in St Andrew every Wednesday and Saturday. They were also ordered to surrender their travel documents, and a stop order has been placed against them at all ports of exit.

Senior Parish Judge, Vaughn Smith, ordered them to be fingerprinted, and warned them that they should not be seen at the CMU.

Pinnock was offered bail in the sum of $2 million, while that for Brown-Lawrence was set at $1 million.

Pinnock was to report at the Greater Portmore Police Station, while Brown-Lawrence was to report at the Brown's Town Police Station, every Wednesday and Saturday.

Apart from the court case which is now set to unfold, the scandal continues to hobble the Government, as damning information was recently made public in the auditor general's report following an audit of the CMU.

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