Jury deliberates complex Watson-Blake case

| 27/10/2022
Canover Watson (left) and Bruce Blake

(CNS): Ten men and women who have spent the last twelve weeks poring over mountains of documents and listening to witness evidence, in person and via video link, arguments from three lawyers and a detailed direction from the judge finally began their deliberations Thursday over the fate of Canover Watson and Bruce Blake. The two former football executives have denied fraud and money laundering charges in relation to what the crown claims is a theft of over $1.5 million from the regional football body, CONCACAF, via scam invoices.

Following several days of directions from Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale (now Chief Justice), who presided over this complex case, she finally sent the jury out to begin deliberating at around 12:30pm.

Ramsay-Hale gave a detailed review of their duties, including the steps they must take on their path to a unanimous verdict and how they should consider the evidence. She also reminded them that the crown must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

She told the jurors that they had been “asked to infer many things in this case” and that it “relied heavily on circumstantial evidence”, as she explained the law and how they must tackle the task in front of them.

She also reviewed the arguments the two men had made in response to the crown’s case, and told the members of the jury that they must consider that evidence in the same way they should consider evidence given by the crown’s witnesses.

After four hours of deliberation, the jury had not reached a verdict. As a result, they were released by the judge under clear instructions not to discuss the case with anyone and to return to the court at 9am Friday to continue their deliberations.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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