After spending almost 11 days on remand, Michael Carew, the long-time companion of former government minister Marlene McDonald was yesterday able to access bail.
Sources told Guardian Media that while Carew’s bailor was approved by officials at the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court on Thursday afternoon, he was not immediately released as there was a delay in transferring the documents to the Port-of-Spain State Prison.
The process was completed yesterday morning and Carew was released around midday.
Carew was the last of the four men, charged alongside McDonald for corruption and money laundering, to access bail.
McDonald, Carew, Wayne Anthony, Victor McEachrane and Edgar Zephyrine are facing 49 charges over attempts to defraud the government by allegedly procuring funds Carew’s Calabar Foundation, under the guise that it was a charity.
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 only secured her freedom last Friday from the St Clair Medical Centre where she was receiving medical treatment 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 slapped 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 accessed his.
Anthony was only able to access his bail on Wednesday.
Since being charged, McDonald was removed as Public Administration Minister and deputy political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM). She remains Port-of-Spain South MP.
The group is scheduled to reappear before Chief Magistrate Busby-Earle-Caddle on September 9.
- by Derek Achong. Photo by Anisto Alves.