By Latrishka Thomas
The bus conversion saga involving former finance minister Harold Lovell and two of his former United Progressive Party (UPP) colleagues, Dr Jacqui Quinn and Wilmoth Daniel, will come up before a High Court judge this morning, when the trio will enter their plea.
The three former cabinet ministers are accused of corruption, conversion and embezzlement in relation to three Daewoo buses worth over $600,000 that had been donated to the former UPP administration by the Government of Korea.
The trio had been accused of converting the buses for their personal use and had them registered at the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board in their names, while they were in public office.
The case was first dismissed in 2017 by Magistrate Conliffe Clarke, but in 2019, Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Armstrong refiled the case on an issue of improper application of procedure.
As a result, the case was brought back before a different magistrate, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh.
The Chief Magistrate declared that there was enough prima facie evidence against the three accused, and, in June, 2020, she committed the matter to the High Court.
Should the accused plead not guilty to the charges, they will have to stand trial; however, if they admit to the crimes, the case will proceed to the sentencing phase.