Jamaican attorney Anthony Armstrong, who is the Director of Public Prosecutions in Antigua and who is facing fraud-related charges in relation to three properties, has been taken back into custody and his matter transferred to the Home Circuit Court.
The matter against his co-accused Shelly-Ann Peart Campbell was similarly transferred and her bail was revoked.
The new development, which was not well received by Armstrong’s defence team, comes in the wake of the nolle prosequi which was this morning entered in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for the fraud-related charges to be discontinued and the matter commenced in the high court on a voluntary bill of indictment.
Armstrong was arrested last November on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport and later slapped with conspiracy and fraudulent conversion charges.
The charges reportedly stem from the sale of three properties 18 years ago in Jamaica, in which Armstrong represented the complainant, who was the vendor.
The complainant in the matter had also reported Armstrong to the General Legal Council (GLC).
The Disciplinary Committee of the GLC in February found that Armstrong was guilty of professional misconduct for signing a document for a client who was not present.
Lead attorney-at-law for Armstrong, Hugh Wildman, accused the DPP of undermining the Committal Proceedings Act and of perpetuating abuse of the process against his client.
He said his team was only notified about the action last night and that his client will now be inconvenienced and embarrassed by being re-arrested as his surety is unavailable.
Wildman described the DPP’s act as being discourteous, oppressive, and arbitrary.
The lawyer also accused the DPP of depriving his client of his right to have the parish judge determine whether there is a prima facie case against him.
He emphasised that the matter had been set for him to make submissions for the judge to make a ruling on the case.
Armstrong is contending that he is not guilty of the charges because the proceeds of the sale were paid over to the complainant’s father, who he had authorised to be his agent while he was incarcerated in the United States.
Armstrong said one of the properties was owned by the complainant and his cousin, Peart Campbell.
SOURCE: Jamaica Gleaner
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