INNISS CHARGES STAND
US Justice Department amends indictment against Inniss
FORMER GOVERNMENT MINISTER Donville Inniss is still facing three counts of money laundering in the United States.
But the United States Justice Department has removed a theory within the indictment which would have formed part of its prosecution of the Barbadian businessman.
In another section of the press, it was reported that the Eastern District of New York had dropped one of the charges against Inniss, but public information officer for the US Department of Justice, John Marzulli, is contending otherwise.
“No counts are being dismissed,” Marzulli stressed to the Barbados Nation from his Brooklyn, New York office.
“Because of the change in law after Inniss’ superseding indictment was filed, the violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act theory is being voluntarily dismissed in counts one to three. If you look at the superseding indictment, that theory in subsections (i) states a felony violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, title 15 of the US Code. That is what is being dismissed,” he added, while noting the three substantive charges remain over Inniss’ head.
“We never withdrew the superseding indictment, and defence counsel never made a motion,” the court official further explained.
In a letter written to the presiding judge, Assistant US Attorney.
Sylvia Shweder, acting on direction from US District Attorney Richard Donoghue, informed the judge the theory, and not any of the three counts, would be affected by a recent case in the US legal system.
“In lieu of motion practice, and in light of the Second Circuit’s decision in United States v. Hoskins, the government is voluntarily dismissing without prejudice the aforementioned specified unlawful activity theory, which is set forth in subsection (i) of paragraphs 23 and 25 of the indictment,” said Shweder, who is lead prosecutor in the case.
“To that end, the government understands that the order of excludable delay that is in effect through the completion of the motion scheduled on January 25, 2019, is still applicable for the other reasons that the court noted at the court appearance on October 23, 2018, including but not limited to allowing time to prepare for trial and review additional discovery,” she concluded.
Inniss, the former Member of Parliament for St James South, is still facing a 20-year jail sentence in federal prison on each count and a BDS$1 million fine if convicted.
According to the US law, judge Kiyo Matsumoto can impose a fine of twice the value of any property involved in the transaction, or whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both, if Inniss is found guilty.
The United States’ Justice Department had unsealed the three-point indictment in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, in March, charging the 52-year-old politician with conspiracy to launder money and two other counts of money laundering.
FORMER MINISTER DONVILLE INNISS.