The Elvin Penner Prosecution is certainly not a smooth ride for the small grassroots organization COLA and their attorney Kareem Musa. Prior to the leakage of the auditor general’s preliminary report, prosecutors had been scrambling for evidence in a legal maze with road blocks at every corner.
In the last court session of May 29th prosecutors presented nothing short of, as defense attorney S. C. Ellis Arnold put it, “an excuse” explaining why they did not have any evidence.
Arnold appealed that the case be struck out. However, the presiding magistrate granted the prosecutors one final adjournment to provide full disclosure. Today was the date for that final disclosure.
In court, the magistrate decided that there is evidence to dispute. So, lawyers on both sides agreed to proceed with the official trial set for July 24th.
“Our attorney, on behalf of COLA, submitted our final disclosure that we have had at this point. The trial date is set for July 24th, when we will come back to actually start the trial. We believe that for us, this is historical. You all know the challenges that COLA has had in the different authorities who are holding evidence, whether it is the passport that has yet to come into the country, the Commissioner of Police is refusing to give what he has in his possession of the case file. So, we are calling on those authorities to work with us, to do your job that you are paid for, and don’t have to force us to actually go to extra lengths that you are paid to investigate; then, investigate. if you are paid to prosecute, then, prosecute”.
However, despite all evidence files still out of COLA’s reach there is a section of the law which allows the Magistrate to summon that evidence to court. Musa explained.
“Because that is material evidence, amounts, in my opinion to obstruction of justice that we will still try to get before the court . Section 30 of the Summary in Jurisdiction Procedure Act allows the magistrate to order individuals who are in possession of material evidence to deliver up that evidence to the court. I will tell you right off the bat, that we will be relying heavily on that section of the law”.
Musa also told us that there will be an attempt to subpoena different witnesses before the court.
Kareem Musa: “I don’t want to speak in much details about that, but I will say that yes, we will be making an attempt to summon particular witnesses in this case”.
Geovanni Brackett: “If anyone would be honest, people would understand that , and COLA had the testicular fortitude to bring this forward”.
Despite the many hurdles, COLA and their attorney remain optimistic about the prosecution and continue to call on whistle blowers to aid in this endeavour.