Lawyer Samuel E. Commissiong. (IWN file photo)

A Vincentian lawyer who is facing tax evasion charges was on Friday allowed to address the court from the bar, rather than the accused person’s dock, as is generally the case.

The lawyer, Samuel E. Commissiong, sat at the bar while waiting for his matter to be called at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

When the matter was called, Commissiong addressed Magistrate Bertie Pompey from the bar and was never asked to stand in the accused person’s dock.

Some persons familiar with the operations of the court have spoken of their surprise about Magistrate Bertie Pompey’s treatment of the accused lawyer, and have noted that accused persons are supposed to be standing.

They say the magistrate’s treatment of the accused lawyer could trigger allegations of partiality.

One court officer has told iWitness News that while such a situation should not be, the magistrate is allowing it.

Commissiong also sat at the Bar bench when waiting for the charges to be read to him during his initial court appearance in June.

He seemed reluctant to enter the dock when the matter was called and only did so when ordered to by prosecutor Station Sergeant of Police, Elgin Richards.

Commissiong is charged that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013 at Buccament Bay, being an employer of Buccament Bay Resort within the prescribed time he failed to pay the Comptroller of Inland Revenue the amount of EC$404,740.09 deducted from remuneration paid to employees.

He is also charged that between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011 at Buccament, he wilfully evaded the assessment payment or collection of value-added tax in the amount of EC$808,405.

A third charge is that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012 at Buccament, he, being an employee of Buccament Bay Resort, within the prescribed time failed to pay the Comptroller of Inland Revenue the amount of EC$886,818.05 deducted from remuneration paid to employees.

Commissiong is further charged that between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012 at Buccament, he wilfully evaded the assessment payment or collection of value-added tax in the amount of EC$2,754,132.

Commissiong is jointly charged with managing director of Harlequin Property SVG, owner of Buccament Bay Resort, Dave Ames, on all four charges.

3 replies on “Lawyer on tax evasion charges addresses court from bar”

  1. Like anything much will ever happen to him. Business as usual in our corrupt little corner of the world wher status, connections, money, and power rule everything that ever happens.

    In America, a country lots of Vincentians love to hate, there are thousand of disbarred lawyers, hundreds of whom are behind bars at any given time.

    In our Third World’s Third World a member of the high and mighty who literally and deliberately and consciously murders someone in broad daylight in front of the Kingstown police station serves only a few years in prison, the light sentence given because he was suffering from some kind of post-traumatic disorder — his strict father used to beat him for misbehaving while he was a young lad.

    All other murders by the elite, and there have been several over the years, don’t even get a slap on the wrist, reminiscent of the absence of penalties for killing slaves which is why so many people continue to say that we still have a slave mentality, this time the slavemasters being our own African-derived people.

    So when larceny and other crimes are committed by the elite, no one as much as yawns or shrugs their shoulders testimony once more to our slave-society mentality.

    1. C. ben, don’t be so sure. Look at Hillary and Bill Clinton. In truth they should have got the Death Penalty, (Chinagate and emailgate) or spent at least 2000 years in prison for all the crimes they have committed but instead they are at least millionaires and possibly Billionaires. Obama has not sent one banker to prison for financial fraud, Bush sent hundreds, so did Bill Clinton as president. So many establishment elites are allowed to get away with crime. It depends on how much Vitamin “C” they have…=”Connections”.

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