Former government clerk Atisa Ebanks had formal verdicts of “not guilty” entered in her favor on Wednesday after a brief appearance in Grand Court.
The defendant stood trial last year, when a jury found her not guilty of 22 counts of theft and two counts of false accounting during a period between 2007 and 2009. However, the jurors were unable to reach verdicts on five other charges of theft and one of false accounting. The Crown at the time indicated that a decision would be made as to whether to have a retrial on those six charges.
This week, Crown counsel Scott Wainwright told Justice Charles Quin that the Department of Public Prosecutions offered a formal notice of not proceeding with the matter.
He explained that it was unclear what the basis was for the jury’s inability to reach verdicts on those charges. He said the case had been brought on the basis of an internal audit that showed a pattern, so the evidence would have been similar to the evidence on the other charges. Further, the possibility of human error could not be discounted.
Defense attorney Laurence Aiolfi asked that the court enter formal verdicts of not guilty and Justice Quin agreed, saying the Crown had taken a sensible course, given “insurmountable difficulties.”
The defendant has worked as a clerk in the office of the Chief Secretary (now the Deputy Governor) where she received naturalization fees of $500. The Crown’s allegation was that she created false receipts and did not put the money into the government accounting system.
She was placed on required leave in March 2009 and she resigned in December the same year.