Controversial businessman, Finton DeBourg has suffered another major blow with the Court of Appeal dismissing an application made on his behalf to be released from the Richmond Hill prison pending the hearing of his actual appeal against a 23 year jail sentence for fraud.
DeBourg was sentenced in December 2016 by Guyanese-born female high court judge, Justice Paula Gilford on a number of fraud-related charges related to the affairs of the collapsed Capital Bank International in which depositors lost millions of dollars.
His first appeal came up before the Court of Appeal on Monday, at a hearing presided over by Justices of Appeal, Mario Michel, Gertel Thom and Louise Blenham.
In making the bail application, attorney-at-law, George Prime expressed the view that there were exceptional special circumstances for which bail can be granted to his client pending the appeal of the conviction and sentence, which he labeled as being “excessive and wrong.”
However, the Justices noted that the supplemental affidavit presented to the court did not capture the exceptional circumstances or evidence to persuade the court to grant bail based on jurisprudence.
The Justices felt that the perception that the nature of the conviction and the sentence handed down is wrong does not qualify for bail.
Additionally, the Court of appeal ruled that the affidavit presented to them did not cover any other matters for the court to take into account in considering the application.
Attorney Prime who informed the court that he is being assisted by Attorney-at-law Henry Paryah and Keith Scotland of Trinidad relied on other special circumstances including the claim that his client’s 23-year sentence may be served before the appeal is heard.
However, the Appeal judges pointed that De Bourg’s sentence has practically just began and maintained that the law in this particular matter is very clear.
The Justices of Appeal said they found no basis on which bail should be granted and a decision was taken to dismiss De Bourg’s bail application.
De Bourg was found guilty by a nine-member jury panel in November 2016 on all six counts brought against him by the State following the collapse of Capbank in which he served as the Chief Executive Officer.
The businessman who resided at Westerhall Point, St. David’s was found guilty on one count of fraudulently applying for his own benefit EC$$975,119.97 from Capbank between October 1, 2002 and March 31, 2004 and another count of fraudulently applying an additional sum of EC$15, 650, 538.28 for his own benefit between September 4, 2004 and February 15, 2008.
He was also found guilty on three counts of falsifying the Minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors dated April 21, 2005, February 15, 2006 and June 1, 2007, and also between the period of June 1, 2007 and August 31, 2007, as a Director of CapBank.
DeBourg is a former General Secretary of the ruling New National Party (NNP) and was once known to be part of the so-called “A” Team that had a running battle with current Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The controversial Capbank was given a licence by the 1995-99 NNP government of Dr. Mitchell to operate a bank but it was barred from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) from using its Clearing House facilities.
DeBourg and his bank resorted to using the bank account of a well-known attorney-at-law as a clearinghouse for its cheques.