by Lashawna Griffith
Embattled former minister Donville Inniss is still a member of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), the party’s President Verla Depeiza declared tonight.
She told a meeting of the St James South constituency that he served until the May 24 general election that Inniss, who is currently facing money laundering charges in the United States should be viewed as innocent until proven guilty.
The lawyer-politician told the supporters the matter was sub judice (under judgment). “What I have to say about Mr Inniss is – and you would start by knowing that I am an attorney-at-law – his matter is still sub judice it has not in any way been ventilated with any court that I am aware of and up until such time that that happens he remains in my eyes and the party’s eyes and should also be in the public’s eyes innocent until proven guilty,” Depeiza said to loud cheers by members of the party executive and supporters.
She stressed that everyone has seen the indictment in the federal district court in New York but that no one has seen documents being brought forward in the ex-minister’s defence; without these documents, she said, she was unable to comment on the matter.
“We have all read preliminary documents that were disseminated widely online but what we have not seen though is what the defence will be putting as that has not been disseminated online and we do not know if they have reached that point as yet,” she said, adding that based on her legal experience the case may not have reached the stage for the defence information to be disseminated.
“Because I do know how criminal cases progress… they may not have gotten to that part as yet. So it is difficult to ask or even expect an answer for that question when we do not have all of the information,” she said.
She was at the time responding to questions regarding why the DLP had decided to hold a meeting in the constituency office once ran by the former Minister of Commerce and International Business, who is facing criminal charges in the US after a grand jury charged that he used his ministry to launder bribes from executives of insurance company ICBL.