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Prosecutor takes offence to letter from Ames lawyer

Prosecutor takes offence to letter from Ames lawyer


A letter from the Howard Kennedy Law firm, written on behalf on businessman David Ames, has offended prosecutor Karim Nelson, who said he expected an explanation for Ames’ disappearance.

“I took offence to the way the letter was framed, in that I didn’t see any apology for not showing up on the previous occasion; I didn’t see any explanation; all I saw was an indication that Ames is not very well and that his doctor has advised them that he should not travel before three months,” Nelson told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview yesterday.

Ames, the founder of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts (parent company of Buccament Bay Resort) faces charges of theft under the Criminal Code, tax evasion pursuant to Section 81 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act and failure to pay the Comptroller of Inland Revenue pursuant to Section 134 of the Income Tax Act amounts totalling almost EC$7 million.{{more}}

However, after being served with court papers, Ames did not show up at court on June 22, nor did he on June 23 and June 27, dates to which the case had been adjourned.

On June 23, police issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Last month during a press conference, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves revealed that Ames had left country legitimately, through the Chateaubelair port by boat.

Last Friday, the Howard Kennedy law firm provided a certificate to the Kingstown Magistrate’s court, stating that Ames is unable to fly for a period of at least three months, because of a serious medical condition.

The letter also requested that the court adjourn the matter for three months, to allow Ames to recover and make arrangements to attend the hearing.

“We understand that there is a risk Mr Ames may still not be fit to travel after the three-month period if his medical issues continue, however we will contact the court as soon as we have an update on this matter.”

A medical report was also attached to the letter.

Lawyer Kay Bacchus Baptiste entered an appearance on Ames’ behalf last Friday and referred to the letter, asking that the court adjourn the matter for no less than three months.

Nelson, however, told SEARCHLIGHT that he did not object to the adjournment, because the prosecution is not yet ready to proceed. He also disclosed that he intends to authenticate the letter.

The prosecutor told SEARCHLIGHT that while there have been rumours and theories about Ames’ current location, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions does not have any concrete information about where he is.(AS)