Former Government Minister Brian Kuei Tung appeared at Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday for the second time, to answer 16 corruption charges involving $1.6 billion, arising out of the second phase of police investigations into the Piarco Airport development project.
He is jointly charged with his girlfriend and businesswoman Renee Pierre, former Airports Authority chairmen Tyrone Gopee and Ameer Edoo and former Nipdec chairman Edward Bayley.
Senior Counsel Reginald Amour, Allan Alexander and Ian Brooks are representing Kuei Tung and Pierre; attorney Stewart Young and Christopher Hamel-Smith SC appear for Bayley, while Russell Martineau SC and attorney Gillian Lucky appear for Edoo and attorney Nyree Alfonso-Towfeek appears for Gopee.
All five appeared before Magistrate Ejenny Espinet to face 11 charges stemming from offences which allegedly occurred between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2001.
Kuei Tung received an additional five charges.
The charges state that all five conspired with others to obtain contracts and payments of a total value of up to $1.6 billion.
It was not until 10.30 am that the matter was called and the charges which include having secret offshore banking accounts, abuse of public office and corrupt or unlawful payments to foreign and local contractors, were read.
Hamel-Smith applied for bail for Bayley, stating that he “is a businessman who is well connected in Trinidad.”
“He has a wife and son and should be granted bail with surety,” Hamel-Smith said.
Prosecutor Frank Thompson SC told Espinet he was instructed by Director of Public Prosecutions Geoffrey Henderson not to object to bail but to ensure that stringent measures were in place for Bayley.
“We want him to report to a police station in his district and surrender his travel documents and Trinidad passport and any other documents,” Thompson said.
He said there was information that Bayley had residency status in Costa Rica.
Thompson said there were no extradition treaties between T&T and Costa Rica.
Therefore, “he (Bayley) can go there to escape the law,” Thompson said.
However, Thompson said some of the stringent measures he wanted should include “the accused reporting to a police station every Tuesday and Saturday, because that is when there are direct flights to Costa Rica.”
Espinet then set bail at $2 million on the condition that Bayley report to Four Roads Police Station every Tuesday and Saturday between 8 am and noon, and also surrender all travel documents and passport.
The other accused were granted $1 million bail each.
The matter was adjourned to tomorrow. (DR)
Between August 26, 1999, and August 31, 1999, corruptly received for himself from Northern Construction Limited a reward in the sum of $50,000, namely a deposit to an account in his name at RBTT Bank Ltd.
Between October 27, 1998, and November 27,1999, corruptly received for his own use a gift from Northern Construction Limited, namely air-conditioners to the value of $77,480.
Between August 29,1999, and August 31,1999, did by himself corruptly receive from NCL an advantage in the sum of $150,000, namely payment of a visa credit card account in his name at First Citizens Bank.
Between February 1, 2000, and August 17, 2000, did corruptly receive from NCL an advantage, namely the payment of the sum of US$335,000 to Leslie Florez, an attorney in Florida, together with a further sum of US$465,000. (An estimated total of TT$5 million).
Between August 26, 1999, and August 31, 1999, did corruptly receive from NCL an advantage in the sum of $80,000, namely payment of a visa credit card account in the name of Brian Kuei Tung and Ellen Kuei Tung at RBTT Ltd.
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