SOURCE REAL NEWS ANTIGUA: The female prosecutor on whose watch over $21,000 in confiscated money went missing is reportedly back on island, but the investigationinto its disappearance appears to be going nowhere, sources say.
In August, REAL News reported that the Police had launched an internal investigation into the disappearance of these funds, which allegedly had been confiscated from a businessman because officers believed the money had been acquired illegally.
That person is now defending a forfeiture case in the All Saints Magistrates Court and must prove that the money was obtained legally and was not the proceeds of crime.
However, the case is likely to be dismissed, sources say, since the investigating officer could not produce the EC$18,000 and US$1,500 that had been taken from the accused.
In the flurry of accusations that followed, fingers were pointed even ata prosecutor who reportedly had had nothing to do with the case.
Allegedly, the investigator had left the money in the care of the prosecutor after a previous court outing, instead of signing it back into custody.
That prosecutor had been off island for some time, but is now said to have returned to duty; however, the investigation seems to have been halted.
Police sources say this incident, very likely, will be one of those cases that are swept under the carpet because of the prosecutor’s affiliation with a senior-ranking officer.
The sources expect that it will be left to the taxpayers to repay the missing sum – since, if the case is thrown out, the money will have tobe returned to the businessman.
Reportedly, the magistrate presiding over the trial has threatened to throw out the case already.
In the meantime, observers are asking why it is taking this long to pinpoint who last had custody of the money and have that person take responsibility for it.
They say it should not be that difficult, since both the investigator and the prosecutor allegedly had custody of the money at some point.
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