By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Bahamian nationals Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles, both wanted in the United States on charges of securities fraud, were granted bail Monday in the Supreme Court by Justice Denis Hannomansingh.
Attorney for Leach and Knowles, Godfrey Smith, explained that under the terms of the bail arrangement his clients are to report to the Queen Street police station every Monday and Friday to sign in. The men were also ordered not to leave the country as part of the terms of their bail.
According to Smith, Justice Hannomansingh was persuaded to grant his clients bail based on the fact that the government’s detention of Leach and Knowles was a violation of their constitutional rights. Smith explained that the men could not have been legally remanded to the Belize Central Prison with the provisional warrant the government used to do so and the judge agreed with them on this point.
Eamon Courtenay, attorney who also represents the Bahamians, said the government simply made a procedural error. He said it seemed that they rushed to prepare their submission. Courtenay added that their clients were not flight risks and in fact had never tried to go into hiding.
Smith said up to the time of the bail hearing there was still no formal extradition request made for either Leach or Knowles. Smith said the case against his clients for failing to declare money at the Phillip Goldson International Airport has also been adjourned until further notice.
The government was represented by Solicitor General Anika Jackson.
Knowles and Leach were indicted in a Federal Court in New York along with four other men on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering of up to US$500 million.
The companies named in the indictment include IPC Corporate Services, which is listed on the fourth floor of the Matalon Building on Coney Drive, Titan Brokerage, also listed on the Matalon’s fourth floor, Legacy Global Markets, and Unicorn International Services.