Jury surveyed ahead of hospital corruption case

| 20/11/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Canover Watson and his lawyer, Ben Tonner

(CNS): Following a written survey almost 100 prospective jurors were eliminated Friday before the selection process began for the seven men and women who will hear the case against Canover Watson and Miriam Rodriques for their alleged involvement in a corrupt hospital contract. Six women and one man were finally selected after all those with any possible conflict were removed and two women were also sworn as reserves to cover any early jury problems. Once the case is underway the jurors will be serving for as much as eight weeks in what is understood to be a complex case.

The trial, which is being presided over by Justice Michael Mettyear, is expected to open Monday morning with a fresh arraignment as the crown has reportedly consolidated the charges against the former Health Services Authority board chair and his former personal assistant.

The charges still include money laundering and various corruption allegations which relate to a card-payment contract worth around $11 million awarded by the hospital to a company that the crown claims Watson was directly connected with but did not disclose during the tendering process. Watson and Rodrigues, who are represented by Ben Tonner and Laurence Aiolfi of Samson & McGrath, have both denied all of the charges.

Absent from the dock on Monday will be Jeffrey Webb, who has also been charged with offences relating to the case. He is alleged to be a beneficial owner of the company involved. Webb, the former CIFA and CONCACAF president, remains on house arrest in the United States in connection with the allegations laid against him in the massive international FIFA corruption probe.

Although the crown said at the time the charges were filed, when he was still in Switzerland, that it was seeking to extradite Webb, there has been no indication whether the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will seek his extradition from the United States, given the magnitude of the FIFA corruption case and the unlikely possibility that it will be resolved anytime soon.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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