Political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell has vowed to “fight fire with fire”, accusing the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of being politically motivated due to an appeal being filed against the judge’s decision to dismiss a corruption case against Lovell and two other former Cabinet colleagues.
While this is not the first time Lovell has made the accusation, yesterday he went a step further, claiming that DPP Anthony Armstrong is “playing politics”.
“I am not impressed with his overall conduct of this matter. He has decided to appeal. If you listen to the audio tape that was circulating, there was a particular disc jockey down at another radio station saying that their strategy is to go after Harold Lovell because once you can decapitate the [leadership of the party], get rid of the head then it weakens the organisation,” Lovell expounded.
On Tuesday, an application was made to have a higher court review last month’s decision by Justice Colin Williams to dismiss the case against three former Cabinet ministers who were accused of corruption, embezzlement and conversion regarding three buses in 2008. They had been accused of using the vehicles, donated to their then administration by South Korea, for their own personal use.
The prosecution filed the appeal to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal citing 12 ways it believes the trial judge erred in law.
On November 23, the High Court judge returned a formal verdict of ‘not guilty’ to Lovell, Wilmoth Daniel and Dr Jacqui Quinn.
It is the second time the case has been dismissed against the former ministers; the first time was in the Magistrates’ Court in 2017.
Despite the Chief of Staff within the Office of the Prime Minister recently claiming the government has no hand in the DPP’s actions, Lovell is accusing the government of directing the legal pursuit.
Speaking on Observer AM, he said that his party will continue to fight the matter politically.
“We have been exonerated twice; what are they trying to get? It is raw politics, and we are going to fight this matter politically because this is a political battle, and if the DPP wants to be a politician we are going to fight him as a politician,” Lovell asserted.
The DPP has declined to comment on the matter.