Bus conversion matter to be committed to the High Court next week

From left, former UPP finance minister Harold Lovell, former UPP MP Jacqui Quinn and former UPP MP Wilmoth Daniel. (File photo)
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By Latrishka Thomas

There is indeed enough prima facie evidence in the bus conversion saga involving former finance minister Harold Lovell and two of his former United Progressive Party colleagues, Dr Jacqui Quinn and Wilmoth Daniel, to have the matter committed to the High Court for trial.

That was the finding of Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh, on Thursday, when the trio appeared before her in the St John’s Magistrates’ court.

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, but last year, Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Armstrong refiled the case on an issue of improper application of procedure.

And although the former Members of Parliament continue to deny the accusations, and despite arguments by their lawyers, the Chief Magistrate made it clear that she intended to commit the matter to the High Court since there is enough evidence for a judge or jury to debate upon.

The matter was therefore set for committal on June 18.

Lovell is being represented by Sylvester Carrot, Dr Quinn’s lawyer is Leon Symister, while Daniel is being represented by Ralph Francis.

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