In November 2020 Dr. Terence Drew the defeated candidate in constituency #8 following the General Elections of June 5th 2020 instituted criminal proceedings against the elected member Hon Eugene Hamilton.
Dr. Drew filed two claims at the magistrate court claiming that Minister Hamilton was guilty of Bribery and Treating. These two charges are considered as crimes under the National Assembly Elections Act, CAP 2.01. Anyone found guilty of these crimes could be fined and jailed; also of note is that such guilty person could be removed from parliament if parliament provides and could also be prevented from being a candidate in any election for a period of time
In February 2021 Delano Bart as Counsel for Dr. Drew proceeded to invite Magistrate Eddy to recuse himself from sitting on these matters. Following the decision of Magistrate Eddy to recuse himself, Dr. Drew proceeded to go on Radio to malign the magistrate. The matters were therefore set down before Senior Magistrate Benjamin.
These criminal charges were never brought to the attention of the DPP who considered the matters to be sufficiently grave warranting the attention of his office. As a result the DPP intervened with the intention to prosecute the two matters.
Delano Bart, Counsel for Dr. Drew seemed perturbed by the intervention of the DPP and urged that the DPP get independent counsel to prosecute the matters.
Meanwhile the DPP requested disclosure of the evidence, which was first met with some resistance by Counsel for Dr. Drew. The DPP sought an order from the court and obtained an ordered for disclosure.
It would seem as if the defeated candidate Dr. Drew had no witness statements at the time of the order of disclosure made on February 1st long after bringing charges in November 2020. Judith McLean’s statement dated February 4th do not support the charge of Bribery and that is the only evidence provided by Dr. Drew. In fact the true evidence shows that it was in December 2019 that any assistance was received by Mrs McLean contrary to her statement and contrary to the summons issued by Dr. Drew
Meanwhile Dr. Drew could not find anyone who was “treated” and therefore himself, provided a statement which was totally inadequate. His statement refers to face-book advertisements and not to any acts of treating.
We will publish the statements and the summons which show that the evidence provided are incongruent with the charges.
This morning the DPP discontinued the matters for lack of evidence. In doing so he explained to the court that having noted the request of Counsel for Dr. Drew he proceeded to obtain quality advice from senior practitioners at criminal law.
He indicated that he received opinions from Dr. Henry Browne QC and DPP Oris Sullivan from Montserrat. While not directed by the opinions received he has come to the conclusion that there are two tests that should be satisfied in order to proceed with prosecution
The first test is the evidence test and the second test is the public interest test. If the first test is not satisfied there is no need to proceed to the second test. In this case the first test was not satisfied therefore he did not have to give consideration to the second testThe DPP therefore entered notice of discontinuance of both matter for lack of evidence