Panday’s re-trial adjourned to March 8

When the matter was recalled before Magistrate Melville Daniel in the First Court, Panday’s attorney, Ravi Rajcoomar, made an application for the matter to be “dealt with” in light of the State’s continuing absence.

Daniel indicated he would consider the attorney’s application. However, he was willing to give the State an opportunity to appear, and as such he briefly stood down the matter. While in the corridors of the Court, Rajcoomar met senior State attorney Sabrina Dougdeen and informed her about the absence of a State attorney to handle the case.

Dougdeen appeared before Daniel shortly thereafter and explained to the court that as far as she was aware, the matter was supposed to be overseen by Sir Timothy Cassel QC, and Assistant Director of Public prosecutions Wayne Rajbansie. She said although she could not explain the absence of the attorneys, she said she would hold for the State in the interim. She therefore requested a short adjournment date for the matter to be recalled in order to give the State time to secure the attendance of witnesses from both foreign and local jurisdictions. Daniel granted the State leave, and the matter is scheduled to resume on March 8.

Panday was tried and found guilty in April, 2006 before Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls, for failing to declare monies in a London bank account in contravention of the Integrity in Public Life Act.

He was convicted and sentenced to serve a two-year jail term, and ordered to pay a TT$60,000 fine to cover all three accounts of the charge which was alleged to have taken place between 1997, 1998, and 1999 respectively.

Panday subsequently appealed the decision, and on March 20, 2007, the conviction was quashed on the basis of an apparent bias by the Chief Magistrate.

The Trinidad and Tobago’s Appeal Court later ordered the retrial.


"Panday’s re-trial adjourned to March 8"

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