A charge of money laundering against the Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of Lambirds Academy, Dr. Iftekhar Shams, was dismissed today by Magistrate Ermin Moise in the Gros Islet court.
“He did the right thing, that’s my view,” Attorney at Law, Marcus Foster, who is representing Shams said of the Magistrate’s ruling.
According to Foster, who was seen consulting with his client outside the courthouse today, the case had dragged on for more than 180 days which are required to complete a summary matter after charges are laid.
He also told the Times the Crown had not responded to his application for dismissal.
“There was an attempt by the Prosecution to respond but it was basically a request for another adjournment, and the Magistrate had indicated from since the last occasion that he was going to be making his decision today and extra time was given for Counsel from the DPP’s office,” Foster disclosed.
He told the Times that one Counsel did make an appearance, but on behalf of another Counsel who was supposed to have been the one present.
Shams still faces a human trafficking charge which is the substantive matter, as well as charges of obtaining by deception.
He is still on remand.
Shams was granted bail but the Prosecution appealed.
However Foster told the Times that the appeal operated as an “unrighteous stay “of the granting of bail, because since the Prosecution’s appeal the matter has not been pursued.
“We will be making further applications for this man to be released from bondage,” the Attorney at Law declared.
Shams and two others are accused of having lured a number of nationals mostly from Nepal and India here, with promises of an education and jobs overseas after a course of study at Lambirds Academy here.
However the students claimed that they were duped and want back the huge sums of money they each paid to the academy.
Many of the students are still in Saint Lucia.