DECISION ON PROSECUTION OF BRIBERY AND TREATING OFFENCES AGAINST EUGENE HAMILTON

  1. On February 21st 2021, acting pursuant to section 65 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, I took over two private criminal complaints instituted by Dr. Terrence Drew against Mr. Eugene Hamilton. The Complaints charged Mr. Hamilton with the offences of Bribery contrary to section 108 (1) (c ) and Treating contrary to section 109 (a) of the National Assembly Elections Act, Cap 2.01 of the Revised Edition of the Laws of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. 
  • The charge of  bribery alleged that Mr. Hamilton between the 29th day of May and the 5th day of June 2020 unlawfully gave or procured the giving of a gift towards the construction of a house or part of a house to a “named” individual of the Eight Electoral District, in order to induce the individual to vote for him in order that he might be return as a member of the National Assembly. While the charge of treating alleged that Mr. Hamilton on a date between May 28th 2020 and June 5th 2020 and, or with the assistance of others, corruptly gave or provided food, drink and provisions styled as “Corvid Care Packages” with labeling of the People’s Action Movement political party and with the words “Vote for Eugene Hamilton” to persons for the purpose of corruptly influencing those persons to vote for him to procure his return as an elected member of the National Assembly.

Prepared by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions  April 26th 2021

  • The evidence in support of these complaints, were disclosed to me by Counsel for Dr. Drew and on receipt of the evidence, I sought opinions from two independent senior criminal experts. One of those experts comes from within the Federation and the other from outside of the Federation. In written opinions provided to me, both independent criminal experts concluded that neither the charge of Bribery, nor that of Treating had any realistic prospect of success. They further concluded that the prosecution instituted by Dr. Drew amounted to an abuse on the process of the court. 
  • While I sought the opinions of independent Counsel, I am not required by law to do so, neither am I bound by those opinions. My decision to do so, was made in my own deliberate judgment in the interest of fairness and transparency, and Dr. Drew’s own Counsel instructed written “respectful request” for me to engage independent counsel to conduct the matter on behalf of my office. Having received the opinions, I undertook my own examination of the evidence, considered the opinions, the law, and the Prosecution Policy to prosecute. I concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support either charge and therefore there was not a realistic prospect of securing a conviction against Mr Hamilton. On April 26th 2021, I discontinued the charges against Mr. Hamilton.
  • A prosecution should only ever be instituted on the basis of sufficiency of evidence and it should never be started unless there is admissible, substantial, and reliable evidence to justify placing a person upon trial. From the provable facts of a case, there must be a realistic prospect of securing a conviction before a prosecution may be brought. In this case, there simply was not. While I am not required to give reasons for my decision whether to prosecute or not, my decision to do so on this occasion, is that the public are fully and properly informed about this case, which has been the subject of public concern and interest.

………………………

Valston M. Graham

Director of Public Prosecutions

Prepared by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions  April 26th 2021

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