Antigua and Barbuda’s attorney general to go on trial

Attorney General Steadroy 'Cutie' Benjamin. (Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party)

Attorney General Steadroy 'Cutie' Benjamin. (Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party)

Some said it wouldn’t happen, especially after his party won convincingly at the June 12th poll, but a date has been set for the attorney general to be tried over passport fraud allegations.

Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has fought all the way to the Privy Council – Antigua and Barbuda’s final court of appeal – to keep this from happening, but he couldn’t convince the lords in London to see it his way.

Now, the trial he has fought so hard to avoid has been set to begin on October 1st.

When Benjamin was named attorney general in June, the public erupted with criticism that he ought not to hold the post with such a serious matter pending. Others, however, voiced support for him saying the naysayers were just sour after losing the general election, and others still said, politics aside, the courts needed to be allowed to make a determination of innocence or guilt.

A magistrate set the date this morning after much debate between the prosecution and defence. The end result was an order that the prosecution disclose all evidence to the defence within 21 days.

Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel presided over the hearing after Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh recused herself from the case.

Benjamin is having to defend his actions because he certified a passport application form and photograph for a man who impersonated another.

The courts have already found two people guilty of fraud in the same matter.

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50 thoughts on “Antigua and Barbuda’s attorney general to go on trial

  1. This is all about the opposition party sore losers trying to sling some mud at the winning party and its leaders. Benjamin may have committed a misdemeanor-big deal- he will be tried and pay the penalty and carry on. The losers just trying to find fault and make waves. They will soon get tired of working without pay and go away.
    No worries-enjoy the day!!

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    • rcr you seem to have very low ethical standards.

      Get some principles and let Antigua be known as a place of high standards!!!

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  2. Why is he in such a high office with these allegations & a court case? This looks real bad for Antigua and Barbuda on an internatinal level. He should step down until this issue has been resolved.

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    • He is there because the all knowing all powerful PM Freeston Browne made him his first and most important appointment. The downward spiral started the night of the elections.

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  3. Antigua at heart July 31, 2014 at 22:26 - Reply

    First of all when signing a document like that u should ask to see the intended person on the photo to whom you are signing for even though someone you know personally ask you to sign it for them, so AG let this be a lesson to you and others who have the authority to sign these very special document

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  4. All ALP supports who CANNOT see the wrong in what Cutie did, just show how color blinded they are and that they voted for party and not country. No wonder Antigua can’t move forward. Its ppl encourages wrong.

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  5. Antiguan people voted for Mr. Benjamin by a large margin. Most of you people know that Mr. Benjamin did it in good faith and the woman betrayed his trust, but you all are so evil minded that nobody in the future will take a chance to sign any passport photo. Why on earth are we still using the privy council. (the colonisers who brought us into slavery legal system).

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    -30Controversial!

  6. The people of Antigua could of settled this matter once and for all. How? Don’t vote for him. But then again, it’s Antigua..the people must be st……..for the life of me I can not see why the people voted the way they did considering the past corruption that blatantly clear. It will only get worse because it’s about them not us.

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  7. Earlier this week I said that two men could not work for the CDC.They have a matter pending in the court for defamation.However there is an Attorney General with a fraud matter pending.That I guess is okay.In my opinion he should have known exactly what he was doing.Let us see how this end up.

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  8. Jovanna Fairley July 31, 2014 at 15:51 - Reply

    It does not look good that this man is holding public office while he has a criminal case looming over his head. He should retire or be forced to retire until we see the end result of the case.

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  9. People should read the forgery. Act as it relayes to passport fraud, it is nt classified as a serious offence but a misdeamor. If no criminal intent can be proved je will beat the. Rap, sh headhunders you will noot get this head for your stick.

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    -19Controversial!

      • Marshall is not serving time. He’s been held without bail before his case goes to trial. Marshall is considered to be a ‘flight risk.’

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  10. Benjamin was the dead Antiguan attorney. So how could he not know that the Jamaican was using the dead person’s identity?

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  11. I honestly want to see this man go to trial but I have a feeling that justice will not prevail if he is tried by a jury of his peers. I do not know if Antiguans can ask for a change of venue but they should insist that the judge and jurors are not from Antigua and have not heard anything about the charges until the day of trial. HUF SAID.

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    • Mae Bloomfield. July 31, 2014 at 15:07 - Reply

      Reply to Antigua Bill. This is bigger than Antigua/Barbuda. Under the Money Laundering Act, any willful alteration, unsubstantiated application for, altered documents and or willful deceitful representation for anyone to obtain a passport must first be reported to: 1. Interpol 2. The Director of Public Prosecution, 3. The Police Commissioner and the actions taken must also be reported back to Interpol.
      I will say no more on this.

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    • What world are you living in. Cutie is the law. Keep that in mind and god is good @ all time and he will come out a winner. And he will still have his job. The citizen of Antiguan like the hell out of cutie because he have done a lot for them. And that all that matters here trail is over said and done. He is not going to place much mind any ware he is here to service the citizen of Antigua !!!!! AND YES I SAID IT !!!! —- AND TO ALL YOU HATERS THANK YOU ALL FOR KEEPING MR BENJAMIN MOTIVATED —–

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      • Gem, He has made Antigua the laughing stock of the Caribbean.

        Apparently, from your stand point if he has done “a lot” for some people…
        his wicked deeds must be overlooked and not count.

        Very low standard of ethics.

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    • Antigua Bill this is not a jury trail. Its not a high case trail. Its a magistrate court matter. Yes the same place we go to deal with things like traffic offenses. The only “jury” if you consider him/her one will be magistrate. There is also no judge since this is not considered a serious offense.

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  12. my way of helping July 31, 2014 at 13:22 - Reply

    Cutie Benjamin is a favorite of mine, I look up to him. I am happy he get his day to prove to the world he is innocent and was fooled like the high percentage of Notary Public in USA who has been fooled to notarized documents, not knowing the person is not who they say they are. Except, they are not taken to trial, but investigation would mostly clear them on the intent to commit the crime, as they acted in Good faith from the evidence produced by the requester.

    I have to protect my lady now, who just became a notary public in USA. A good Christian woman, but i pray she does not fall victim to people who has the method of fooling the system without intense investigation. I would expect this to be the easiest case to win for the defendant, as Antigua and Barbuda practically has no form of ID and he must have gone of off witness and paper without pictures obviously, the normal method.

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    -33Controversial!

    • @My way of helping. ” I would expect this to be the easiest case to win for the defendant”. When the deck is stacked, it should be easy. How hard would you prosecute this case if you know that if you fail to get a conviction, the defendant will remain your boss.

      Innocent or guilty, he should not have been appointed AG before this was settled. I am not red or blue. I really don’t care for politics. But the quick decisions by Browne makes this look too much like a set up.

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      • my way of helping July 31, 2014 at 17:16 - Reply

        I could agree with your position, as it was the first thing i thought when i heard about his appointment. But honestly, in a case like this, charging someone almost never happens in USA because it is near impossible to prove he acted with intent to commit the crime. The charge would be only possible if they have substantial evidence recording of him saying he knew it was not him, numerous cases like that happened, or even one of the person involve said that he knew that he was not the person (this last one is easy to refute).

        Whatever documents they brought was sufficient to prove their identity and he acted in good-faith.

        I do agree, for the sake of the public to not have appointed him to this office so soon, with the pending case. I still want to highlight that Cutie is one of my role model and still is, until further notice.

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        • Jail he tail!!

          Probably won’t happen though.
          This is Antigua.

          When or if he “gets off” on a technicality. Please don’t start saying he was innocent.

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  13. The PM is making every move to slap the people of Antigua and Barbuda in their faces, but to every-time he does that he will feel the mash on his foot only time will tell. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. He, God will hear the peoples cry. I will watch to see if the head cop will be fired immediately or exactly what will happen to deny justice. I want to believe that just maybe there may be hope for CCJ.

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  14. This is a “Going nowhere fast case”. Waste of judicial time. Why now? Take the scab off of the sore. It has started to heal with a big “proud flesh (appointment over departments involved with the case”. We had put this to bed (an untidy one though).

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    -14Controversial!

  15. Passport Benjamin in de dock

    This is a great day for all indigenous Antiguans. Antigua people patrimony is not for sale! Let justice prevail. PM Browne brought this debacle on himself with this insidious appointment.

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    • Jumbee Picknee July 31, 2014 at 14:28 - Reply

      Strategy folks! Political strategy on PM Gaston Browne part…
      A. Wasn’t MP Benjamin a part of the contingent, that opposed PM Browne at the ALP Convention, and contentious Leadership battle?
      B. Does PM Browne have control over the Judiciary?
      C. Does PM Browne have, ‘sole authority, over the ALP/ABLP Constitution or Our Nations?
      D. Didn’t he, PM Browne, replace Gail Christian, with, MP Symantha Marshall, in the former Upper House?
      Now, there is a new Leader, in PM Browne, and some decisions are obviously, not fully comprehended. PM Browne is a strategist, and he, knows how to sacrifice, to win.

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  16. Jumbee Picknee July 31, 2014 at 12:00 - Reply

    This can only strengthen, Our Judicial System. Will this be, a Jury or Magistrate Trial?
    Why would the Chief Magistrate, recuse, herself?
    Anyway, let freedom reign!!!
    Now, to clean up the Police Force…
    A…dissolve the PSC.
    B…Terminate the COP’s contract.
    C…Form a control arm of the Police
    similar to a Board, with the COP
    as a part of the Board. Eliminate, the conflicts of interest, between, the COP and PSC.

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  17. Will he step down until this matter is passed? After all, two MCs for a show were expected to do the same?

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    • No he is not stepping down . THE LAW ARE YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVING GUIlTY.. God is good @ all time. And cutie will get through it all. God put cutie in that position for a reason and he will stay there until his term is up. Cutie is for the citizen of Antiguan and we have his back.

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      -19Controversial!

      • be very careful when we “lament” where GOD puts people. HE sometimes put us high to bring us back down to earth for HIS will to be revealed.

        Remember King Saul, Samuel, Moses, Job etc.

        Be very weary of GOD’s hands, it is not for us just to jump up hooray hooray because we think HE puts whom we want where ever.

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  18. Well only in Antigua and Barbuda! Now in the 1st place, he should have never been allowed to run in the general elections. Shouldn’t there have been scrutiny? With such a case pending, I deem this unfit. Now, tell me how does this look in the eyes of those looking in (non political perspective) from the international arena. I pray that justice be served come October 2014.

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    • First of all, his appointment tells you a hell of a lot about the integrity of Gaston Brown. It speaks volume of Gaston’s Character.

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      • If Antiguans and Barbudans wanted people of ethical, moral, intellectual or political integrity the ABLP slate would not even have the PM on it to contest any election. We are a bunch of talkers full a noise and don’t have no sort of integrity ourselves. So if people outside is disappointed with how we do what we do know that that is just us a set a CHUPID people. LMMFAO! Look at OUR parLIAMENt. My stomach turn, my heart tremble, my head aches considering that these are the kind of people making LAWS FOR OUR COUNTRY.

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  19. Is this story true? I think Benjamin is well deserving of a trial. In the first place, he shouldn’t have been allowed to represent the country as an Attorney General. That was a total disrespect to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda by Gaston Browne and his administration. Now, this is reflecting a bad image on this beautiful island of Antigua….SMH

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  20. Finally, a gov’t official in ANU will stand trial. I really like what I am reading and can’t wait to see other politicians brought before the courts for how they’ve abused and mismanaged our beautiful country’s finances. Anyway, I am patiently waiting to see the outcome of this trial.

    In the mean time, I wonder if the PM will follow the example of Chet Greene and suspend the AG?

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    • He is not the first official or former official to stand trial in Antigua. Perhaps the second. Remember the first opposition Prime Minister Sir George Walters. My concern is can there be a change of venue for this case. Can justice prevail if he is tried by a jury of his peers. I sure as hell do not wish him well.

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  21. Now, just as Chet fired the MC’s because as he says ‘they have a pending matter before the courts’, lets see if the chief law officer will be asked to resign by his colleagues including the PM.

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  22. Recused herself??? why?? something smells like a tuna here!

    I pray we will not make mockery and a kangaroo court of Antigua’s Justice system.

    If this will be the case, ALL defenders, prosecutors, judges, AGs and witnesses please be warned!

    If this goes down as mockery it will all come backfire under the AGs “head and throat”.

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  23. The DPP will not proceed with this matter. He has indicated from the onset that the police should not have arrested and/or charged Mr. Benjamin. The DPP will simply enter a nolle pros!

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