Carew faces new bail hurdle

For­mer gov­ern­ment min­is­ter Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald’s long-time com­pan­ion Michael Carew and an­oth­er man charged along­side the cou­ple for cor­rup­tion and mon­ey laun­der­ing, en­coun­tered yet an­oth­er ob­sta­cle on Tues­day in ac­cess­ing bail.

Sources at the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court told Guardian Me­dia that the Clerk of the Peace yes­ter­day re­ject­ed the two po­ten­tial bailors who were se­lect­ed to se­cure their bail.

Carew and Wayne An­tho­ny’s fam­i­lies will now have to find oth­er bailors, who own prop­er­ty val­ued high­er than their bail and who have not used them to se­cure bail for any­one else. The duo re­mained in­car­cer­at­ed at the Port-of-Spain State Prison, up to late yes­ter­day.

Mc­Don­ald, Carew, An­tho­ny, Vic­tor McEachrane and Edgar Zephyrine are fac­ing 49 charges over at­tempts to de­fraud the gov­ern­ment by al­leg­ed­ly procur­ing funds Carew’s Cal­abar Foun­da­tion, and two oth­er NGOs, un­der the guise that it was go­ing to be used for char­i­ta­ble projects. All of the de­fen­dants, ex­cept Mc­Don­ald, first ap­peared in court on Au­gust 12.

Mc­Don­ald, 61, is fac­ing sev­en charges: two for con­spir­a­cy to de­fraud, four for mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice and one for mon­ey laun­der­ing. She was grant­ed $2 mil­li­on bail and was on­ly se­cured her free­dom last Fri­day from the St Clair Med­ical Cen­tre where she was ward­ed af­ter be­ing charged last Sun­day.

Carew, 72, was slapped with eight charges-three con­spir­a­cy to de­fraud and five mon­ey laun­der­ing.

He was grant­ed $500,000 bail.

Zephyrine, 75, the for­mer chair­man of the Na­tion­al Com­mis­sion of Self Help, was charged with 28 charges: one for con­spir­a­cy to de­fraud and 27 mon­ey laun­der­ing. He was grant­ed $1 mil­li­on bail.

McEachrane was slapped with three fraud charges and three mon­ey laun­der­ing charges, while An­tho­ny was charged with one mon­ey laun­der­ing of­fence. McEachrane and An­tho­ny were both were grant­ed $400,000 and $100,000 bail, re­spec­tive­ly.

McEachrane was the first to ac­cess his bail as it was ap­proved with­in hours of the group’s court ap­pear­an­ce. Two days lat­er, Zephyrine was re­leased from cus­tody. Mc­Don­ald fell ill be­fore her ini­tial court ap­pear­an­ce and bail was grant­ed in her ab­sence.

Carew and An­tho­ny have been fac­ing prob­lems with ac­cess­ing their bail since they ap­peared be­fore Chief Mag­is­trate Maria Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle, last Mon­day.

Dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle re­ject­ed an at­tempt by Carew to use 72-year-old Thomas Charles as his bailor. Her de­ci­sion was based on the fact that the el­der­ly man could not re­call the date and oth­er ba­sic in­for­ma­tion when he was ques­tioned by her.

Carew and An­tho­ny then at­tempt­ed to get ap­proval of their bail be­tween Fri­day and Mon­day, but were de­layed as the Clerk of the Peace was ab­sent from work on both days. The group is sched­uled to reap­pear be­fore Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle on Sep­tem­ber 9.

Reporter: Derek Achong

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