New fraud charges were this morning laid against Antigua’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Anthony Armstrong, who was arrested and charged in connection with three land transactions.
It was disclosed Thursday morning, when the matter was mentioned in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, that three counts, each, of uttering forged documents and forgery were laid against the accused.
The clerk of the court informed the judge that the investigator explained that the new charges arose after further review of the case file.
Additionally, she said the investigator informed that the charges were initially not laid because she was rushing to get the matter before the court.
Charging that the police did a “rush job”, Armstrong’s lead attorney, Hugh Wildman, questioned why the charges were not laid and suggested that the investigator be impeached.
He argued that she had informed the court on Monday that the file was complete and gave no indication that she was contemplating new charges.
“Did she dream up these charges overnight?” he asked.
The Jamaican lawyer was arrested on Saturday on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport and charged with conspiracy to defraud and fraudulent conversion.
The charges reportedly stem from the sale of three properties 18 years ago in Jamaica, in which Armstrong represented the complainant, who was the vendor.
Armstrong contends that the proceeds of the sale were paid over to the complainant’s father, who he had authorised to be his agent, while he was incarcerated in the USA.
The complainant in the matter had reported Armstrong to the General Legal Council (GLC) over the matter.
The Disciplinary Committee of the GLC in February found that Armstrong was guilty of professional misconduct for signing a document for a client who was not present.
In the meantime, in light of the new charges, the judge delayed ruling on whether Armstrong’s passport will be returned.
Armstrong’s $500,000 bail was extended until November 16.
SOURCE: Jamaica Gleaner