‘Que Pasa’ confiscation hearing set for February
From the Courts
December 10, 2013
‘Que Pasa’ confiscation hearing set for February

Four days have been set aside for hearing arguments related to the confiscation of property belonging to money laundering convict, Antonio “Que Pasa” Gellizeau.{{more}}

Yesterday, at the High Court, when the matter was called up for hearing, presiding judge Wesley James scheduled February 17 to 21, 2014 for the matter.

This came after James granted an adjourment sought by one of Gellizeau’s counsel, Mira Commissiong, who argued that applications for leave to appeal and for a stay of proceedings of the confiscation matter have been filed before the Court of Appeal.

Commissiong, in applying for the adjournment, also indicated to the court that senior counsel in charge of the matter, Shiraz Aziz, is currently involved in a trial in the United Kingdom.

Gellizeau was present in court, and as usual, was under heavy guard by police officers from the Rapid Response Unit (RRU), also known as the Black Squad.

Representing the crown, Trinidadian attorney Gilbert Peterson SC, in his response, told the court that they have been served with both applications and noted that there was an absence of a formal stay of the confiscation proceedings, granted by the Court of Appeal.

“Technically, My Lord, that ought not to restrain Your Lordship from proceeding. In light of the fact that we have notice of the Court of Appeal seized of those applications, in the circumstances, we will not strenuously urge Your Lordship to proceed…,” the senior counsel stated.

The judge said there were sufficient and exceptional grounds for granting the adjournment.

James said he agreed with Peterson that the filing of an application before the Court of Appeal, does not of itself, give rise to any stay of the proceedings.

He, however, indicated he did not think it would have been prudent to have the confiscation matter heard until the applications before the Appeal Court had been heard.

“I can’t pretend to pre-judge how the Court of Appeal will deal with those applications, because they will have a direct bearing on the reason we are here today,” James said.

Gellizeau, a businessman, is appealing against conviction in the largest money laundering case recorded in the OECS. He was sentenced by the High Court on July 22, 2013 to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Gellizeau was convicted at the Serious Offences Court on March 9, 2012 for concealing on the yacht “Jotobin” on April 5, 2008, at Calliaqua, US$1,733,463 (EC$4,628,346) and for bringing the money into St Vincent and the Grenadines on the yacht.

In June 2008, several of Gellizeau’s assets were frozen by order of the court. The assets include bank accounts, Flexible Premium Annuities with CLICO and vehicles which were registered to him, his family members and associates. Assets belonging to Gellizeau and his relatives were also frozen in Trinidad and St Lucia.(KW)