Former HSA chairman to apply for dismissal of charges

Matter returns to court on Dec. 22

Canover Watson, former chairman of the Health Services Authority, will apply to have charges against him dismissed, Justice Charles Quin heard in Grand Court on Friday. 

Attorney Ben Tonner explained that his client had appeared in Summary Court on Tuesday, Nov. 25, charged with 10 offenses, all connected, and all of which he denies. 

The offenses include six counts of money laundering, one of failing to disclose a pecuniary interest and three others brought under the Anti-Corruption Law. These last three are Category A, which means they must be transmitted “forthwith” to the Grand Court for trial there. 

Mr. Tonner pointed out that there is no provision to make representations in the Summary Court, but there is provision to do so in the Grand Court. He advised that he has notified the Crown he will be applying for dismissal of the charges.  

He asked for the application to be heard on Dec. 22. Crown Counsel Toyin Salako agreed to the date and there was an informal agreement for submitting skeleton arguments. 

Under the Criminal Procedure Code, when a matter has been transmitted to the Grand Court without a preliminary inquiry, the judge “shall dismiss a charge…if he is satisfied that the evidence against the applicant would not be sufficient to put the applicant on his trial.” 

Justice Quin extended the defendant’s bail until Dec. 22. 

The charges cover dates between December 2010 and June 2012. 

The defendant did not speak during either his Summary or Grand Court appearance. 

Mr. Tonner later explained that to date Mr. Watson had not been served with any indictment or with the evidence in support of the charges laid. 

“Mr. Watson has stated that as a consequence of the charges laid against him his liberties have been restricted and his reputation unjustly tarnished. Mr. Watson has reiterated that the charges laid against him are baseless and that he looks forward to clearing his name and dismissing all charges at the hearing on 22 December 2014,” Mr. Tonner said. 

Comments are closed.