DPP asks for more time to respond to attorneys in Vincent Nelson matter

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DPP asks for more time to respond to attorneys in Vincent Nelson matter

More time!
That’s what the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, has stated to the attorneys representing convicted King’s Counsel Vincent Nelson.

On March 29, Gaspard replied to Nelson’s attorneys who on March 15, called on him to take steps to have Nelson’s conviction and sentence set aside, “in the interest of justice.”

Nelson’s attorneys Edward Fitzgerald, KC and Varun Debideen gave the DPP 21 days to respond to their request. That deadline would have been today.

In his letter, Gaspard said, “Given the gravity of the issues raised by your letter which touch and concern my duties under section 90 of the Constitution, I would be most grateful if you were to allow me until April 29, to provide a full response to your letter of reference.”

In the March 15 letter, Nelson said the DPP had a duty to disclose to the court the specific terms of the indemnity agreement between him (Nelson) and the Government.

Its disclosure by Gaspard, the attorneys said, would have “inevitably led to the plea agreement being rejected” by Justice Malcolm Holdip in 2019, because of promises made to Nelson by former attorney general Faris Al-Rawi who acted on behalf of the Government.

Nelson is relying on provisions of the Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion and Plea Agreement) Act, in particular section 31(2), and the DPP’s powers under the Constitution to make his case.

In May 2019, Nelson, 62, a tax attorney who lives in the UK, was indicted on three charges of conspiring to commit money laundering, misbehaviour in public office and conspiracy to commit an act of corruption.

The misbehaviour charge was discontinued after he entered a plea deal with the Office of the DPP. Holdip sentenced him in March 2020 and ordered him to pay a total of $2.25 million in fines.

Nelson was ordered to pay the fine in monthly instalments over the course of a ten-months beginning at the end of April 2020 or face five years’ imprisonment.

Those fines now become due by July 31, as the payment of all fines, except maintenance, was deferred on Friday.

Nelson has also filed a civil claim for $96 million alleging a breach of the indemnity agreement. Nelson said he incurred costs and expenses associated with his notarised statement which he gave on October 26, 2017.

Nelson is claiming compensation for “lost years” of work and for the State to pay court-ordered fines.