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Anthony Armstrong to stand trial on fraud charges

by Pointe Xpress
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The attorney representing embattled Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Armstrong has failed in his bid to get a court in Jamaica to throw out a case brought against his client who is charged with several counts of fraud.

Hugh Wildman, who maintains that his client is innocent of wrongdoing, had petitioned Parish Judge Venice Blackstock-Murray in the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court to dismiss the charges and stay the proceedings, citing an abuse of process.

According to the Jamaica Gleaner, Wildman argued that there was a long delay in his client being charged, lack of or nonexistent evidence and prosecutorial misconduct, which were all grounds for the matter to be thrown out.

But Judge Blackstock-Murray yesterday ruled, “All the grounds proffered by the defense team had failed.”

Tuesday’s judgment paves the way for Anthony Armstrong to stand trial on the charges leveled against him.

A former client of Armstrong has accused him of selling three properties while he was incarcerated in the United States of America between 1999 and 2002, but the DPP contends that the proceeds of the sale were given to the complainant’s father who acted as an agent for the incarcerated man.

The complainant alleged Armstrong made payments to him from Antigua and Barbuda in the amount of US$15,450.00 between September 2006 and April 2007.

The defense has pointed a finger at the complainant’s cousin, Shelly Ann Campbell, who has also been charged, arguing she was behind the sale of the disputed properties.

Attorney Wildman also argued that his client had been vindicated of the allegations that he had acted inappropriately in respect of the sale of the disputed properties by the disciplinary committee of Jamaica’s General Legal Council (GLC).

He submitted that while the council’s disciplinary committee found Armstrong guilty of professional misconduct for witnessing a document for a client who was not present, it had not found him guilty of any wrongdoing in connection with the sale of the properties.

The judge, however, ruled that the court could not consider the GLC’s ruling as it is duty bound to act independently and without influence of external factors, according to the Gleaner.

She concluded that there are issues that must be ventilated in a trial where the facts can be determined.

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