From the Courts
January 14, 2014
Prosecution drops charges against agricultural officer

The charges of theft and conspiracy to steal government funds, which had been brought against agricultural officer Ruthvyn Harper have been dropped.{{more}}

Yesterday at the Serious Offences Court, after calling four witnesses to the stand, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin John told the court that he was not offering any further evidence in the matter — clearing Harper of all the charges.

“I had to choice but to offer no further evidence in the matter… based on way they conducted business there, it would have been difficult to prove theft and conspiracy,” John told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

The Assistant DPP explained that Trevor Phills, head of the Internal Audit Unit at the Treasury department, testified he saw transactions made and certified by Harper, but he could not state whether the items bought had been delivered and received by the Ministry.

Therefore, it would have been difficult to prove a case, John said.

Harper had been charged with theft of $71,197.31 and $55,876, the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Fairhall resident was also charged with conspiracy to commit the offence of theft of $71,197.31, $19,325, $3,400, $3,000, $55,876 with other persons, the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The offences were said to have been committed between December 2006 and April 2012.

Another man, Ezra Scott, who was jointly charged with Harper, was also cleared of the charges.

Arthur Williams and Grant Connell represented the men in the matter.