A review of the Finton De Bourg trial has left a bitter taste in the mouth of his newly appointed attorney, Jerry Edwin who is unhappy with the make-up of the 9-member jury panel that convicted the controversial businessman/ banker on November 10, 2016, on six (6) counts of Fraud.
The charges against De Bourg, a former executive member of the ruling New National Party (NNP) related to the collapsed Capital Bank International in which depositors lost millions of dollars.
Edwin, a U.S-attorney-at-Law, has been retained by De Bourg to appeal the 23-year sentence that was handed down to him in December 2016 by female High Court Judge, Justice Paula Gilford at the St. George’s No. 2 High Court in St. George’s.
Speaking with THE NEW TODAY on Monday, the attorney said that a review of the high court trial has left him perplexed over the conviction due to the make-up of the jury, which he claimed comprised persons who were account holders of Cap Bank and should have been removed from taking part in the case.
“Mr. De Bourg had a jury of people who were not part or should I say they were prejudiced and they should have been removed from the jury (because) they were account holders at Cap Bank,” he said.
According to Edwin, he was told by his client that “members of the jurors have been hostile to him as a result of their relationship with Cap Bank – either themselves or their family members, having lost monies at the defunct institution.”
De Bourg’s appeal was expected to go before the Court of Appeal on Monday but Attorney Edwin said the court was unable to proceed with it because the transcripts from the lower court were not yet available.
“We are dealing with a mounting crisis in the court. Mr. De Bourg’s transcripts were not available,” said the outraged attorney, who expressed hope that his client’s transcripts will be ready when the Court of Appeal is back for a sitting on the island during the week of October 25, 2019.
Attorney Edwin questioned the motive of some of the officers at the bank for not reporting to the authorities earlier before carrying out financial transactions that they deemed to be illegal.
“The case was based on the testimony of people who were officers of Cap Bank charged with the responsibility of knowing about the finances of Cap Bank and who claimed that they were directed to act by Mr. De Bourg. It is astonishing. Now if your boss tells you to go ahead and do something illegal, don’t you as an officer have an obligation to say no I wouldn’t, and go report it to the authorities?”, he questioned.
The attorney has also strongly objected to the 23-year sentence that was handed down on De Bourg.
He said: “The sentence against Mr. De Bourg is astonishing – 23 years. From my research of law, this matter should have never been in the High Court, it should have been decided by the Magisterial court. I believe they were summary offences under the law. Mr. De Bourg was not charged with theft or larceny, he was not convicted of any theft crime, but was convicted under our money laundering laws”.
The chief operator of Capbank who resided at Westerhall Point, St. David’s was found guilty on one count of fraudulently applying to 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.
De Bourg was also found guilty on three counts of falsifying the Minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors of Capbank 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.
The bank collapsed after there was a run on it by account holders after news broke that Capbank could not return a deposit of EC$1 million to a resident of the sister isle of Carriacou.