Manchester MC fraud trial gets underway in Porus

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Prosecutors, defence attorneys, accused and others with an interest in the Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud trial made their way to the Porus Court, a maximum of 30 minutes away from the town of Mandeville, this morning for the first day of trial there.

The matter started at the Manchester Parish Court in Mandeville last week.

A source close to the court said the decision to relocate is to make way for other cases taking place at the Parish Court in Mandeville.

For the duration of the trial, a court room has to be dedicated to accommodate the proceedings, which is expected to continue for more than a month, between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm.

However, with the noise from roadway traffic and only two ceiling fans to keep the heat at bay in Porus, presiding Judge Ann- Marie Grainger said she will be seeking consultation to determine if they can still sometimes meet at the Mandeville courthouse for the trial.

The first day of the trial in Porus began with the continuation of former deputy mayor and vice-chairman of the Corporation and current councillor for the Spur Tree Division in North West Manchester, Ervin Facey, giving his sworn testimony.

He has been testifying since Tuesday afternoon.

Facey is the sixth witness in the case and has been identifying cheques brought in as evidence by the prosecution.

Grainger reminded the prosecution today (Thursday) to caution the witness that not all contents of the cheque would be disclosed openly to the court.

The case on trial is in relation to allegations of misappropriation of funds from the Corporation.

David Harris, former director of finance, who has on occasion also served as acting secretary manager (chief executive officer); Sanja Elliott, former deputy superintendent of Road and Works; and former temporary works overseer Kendale Roberts are the accused on trial.

Alicia Sutherland

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