Former government minister Marlene McDonald’s long-time companion Michael Carew and another man charged alongside the couple for corruption and money laundering, are yet to access bail.
Although McDonald, Carew, Victor McEachrane, Edgar Zephyrine and Wayne Anthony were all granted bail when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court, last Monday, only McDonald, Zephyrine and McEachrane were able to access their bail at the end of last week.
Sources at the court said that Carew and Anthony’s relatives attempted to get approval of the bail, last Friday and yesterday, but were turned away as the Clerk of the Peace assigned to the court was absent from work. They are expected to try again, today.
The two elderly men, who spent the past week on remand at the Port-of-Spain State Prison, were not the only ones affected by the situation as everyone who was granted bail at the court during the period was in a similar position.
The group is 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 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 accessed his.
McDonald fell ill before her initial court appearance and bail was granted in her absence.
The group is scheduled to reappear before Busby-Earle-Caddle on September 9.