BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Valston Graham, has provided a detailed statement on the arrest, charges and bail conditions of US-based billionaire businessman Alkiviades ‘Alki’ David.
Since David’s arrival in St. Kitts and subsequent developments, media practitioners were provided with limited information by the relevant authorities and had to depend on second-hand information.
This was compounded by the fact that the media were not allowed in court for David’s hearing on Tuesday (May 14).
However, a press release emanating from the DPP’s Office yesterday (May 15) has provided answers to many questions sought after by media practitioners in the Federation.
In the release, it was explained that at about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday (May 7) a private jet had arrived at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport with eight passengers and two crew members, among whom was David.
“On their arrival at the RLB, David declared among other things five hundred and fifty (550) plants, which he claimed to be Hemp. The plants were contained in 11 crates of fifty (50) plants each,” the release stated.
It added that David was detained at the airport until about 1:30 p.m. on that same day while investigations were being carried out by members of the Royal Saint Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Her Majesty’s Customs, and the Agriculture Department.
The plant materials were also taken into custody for analysis.
The release also said: “Following testing, the results indicated that the plants were genus of the plant cannabis. This finding is consistent with the statutory definition of cannabis as defined by the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) Act, Cap 9.08 of the Laws of Saint Christopher and Nevis. Consequently, acting on my advice, David was arrested on Thursday, May 9th, 2019.”
David was then charged with Possession of Cannabis; Possession of Cannabis with intent to Supply; Importation of Cannabis; and Importation of a Restricted Item.
He had appeared at the Basseterre Magistrate’s Court on Friday (May 10) before Senior Magistrate Reynold Benjamin and was granted bail with the following conditions:
a. EC $30,000.00 Cash Bail
b. EC $50,000.00 with two sureties jointly and severally
c. The accused to report to the Frigate Bay Police Station daily between the hours of 7am-6pm
d. The accused to surrender his travel documents immediately
e. The accused to return to Court on Tuesday, May 14th , 2019.
With regards to the court proceedings on Tuesday (May 14) the release said, “...Attorney-at-Law for the accused Mr. Jason Hamilton made an application for variation of the bail conditions in respect to lifting of the reporting conditions and return of the accused travel documents.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Valston M. Graham, who appeared for the Crown made no objections to the application in principle. However, the Director sought an increase in both the cash element and signed conditions of bail. The Director made no objections to conditions c (the reporting conditions) and d (return of the accused travel documents) of the previous bail conditions.”
The Senior Magistrate then granted bail in the following terms and conditions:
a. EC $300,000.00 Cash Bail
b. EC $300,000.00 with two sureties jointly and severally
c. The two sureties presented to the Court swore on declaration that they individually had resources amounting to EC $300,000.00.
d. The accused’s travel documents to be returned to the accused.
e. The accused is to appear at Court on September 23rd , 2019.
In conclusion, the release read: “The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions wishes to make clear that the judgment of His Lordship the Honourable Justice Eddy Ventose, dated May 3rd, 2019 does not operate as a stay, or affect all proceedings under the Drugs Act.
“His Lordship’s judgment deals specifically and makes clear that it applies only to section 6 (2) and section 7 (1) when read with schedule II of the Act. All other provisions of the Act are unaffected by the Court’s judgment and remain subject to prosecution. This advice has been given to the Royal Saint Christopher and Nevis Police Force.”