NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The money laundering, extortion and fraud case involving former Urban Renewal director Michelle Reckley was transferred to Magistrate Ambrose Ambrister in court #10 on Monday, after Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt said she and two other magistrates were mindful not to adjudicate the matter for various reasons.
The chief magistrate also stated that Magistrate Ambrister will not present any recusal issues.
Reckley, along with James Nathaniel Hall, Christopher Symonette, Kylon Vincent, Stefanie Collie, and Joseph Lightbourne, were charged in February 2019 with a litany of corruption charges, including money laundering, extortion, fraud and abetment to fraud.
Reckley, a campaign manager of the Progressive Liberal Party who was appointed head of the Urban Renewal program in Grand Bahama in 2012, received the bulk of the corruption charges.
She was accused of defrauding the government of $1.2 million through the Urban Renewal Small Homes Repair program in Grand Bahama.
Reckley is represented by Carlson Shurland, who also appeared for Vincent and Collie.
Anthony Mckinney and Wayne Munroe are representing Symonette.
Hall and Lightbourne are represented by Simeon Brown.
At yesterday’s proceedings, Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said she spoke with Magistrate Ambrister and requested the matter be fixed for two weeks when the trial date is set because it involves six defendants and a resolution should be made as soon as possible.
The lawyers representing the accused persons told the court that they have yet to receive disclosures from the prosecution and requested to have them by the next hearing date.
A fixture hearing has been set for March 29 at 10:00 a.m. before Magistrate Ambrister.
Former prime minister Perry Christie along with dozens of PLP supporters were present at yesterday’s proceedings.