By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A FORMER Democratic National Alliance candidate who was accused of stealing more than $15,000 from a youth programme he managed for more than a decade, was acquitted of the charge yesterday in Magistrate’s Court.
Yesterday’s acquittal for 35-year-old Delano Munroe was vindication after his election dream to contest the MICAL seat was short-lived due to the matter being taken to court, which he believed was a result of victimization.
The Bellot road man was told by Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans yesterday that he did not have a case to answer in a matter in which it was claimed that he stole $15,431 from the Junior Achievement Programme, which had employed him for more than a decade.
The crime, stealing by reason of employment, was supposed to have taken place between November 24, 2010 and March 2, 2011.
However, Magistrate Evans said that the prosecution had presented no evidence, witnesses or the chief complainant in this case, Mr. John Darville who testified in the matter that began last October.
Magistrate Evans urged the JA Programme to seek out the appropriate person(s) who might be responsible for the missing funds, because no evidence was put before the court to implicate Mr Munroe.
Following the ruling of acquittal, Mr Munroe and his lawyers, Ramona Farquharson-Seymour and Calvin Seymour, spoke to The Tribune outside of the Nassau Street Court complex.
The lawyer explained that the defence made a no-case submission to the court after the prosecution called a number of witnesses, including the then programme director, John Darville.
“The court agreed with our submission that sufficient evidence was not brought out to call upon Mr Munroe to answer the charge,” Mrs Seymour said, noting that is was a good day for her client because the Bahamian public now knows that he is innocent of the charge.
“He has protested his innocence from the very beginning. And in fact he felt as though it may have been some form of victimization because he was the proposed candidate for MICAL for the DNA party. Of course, he was unable to pursue that dream because he had the charge hanging over his head, but today he is vindicated. He has no case to answer.”
Mr Munroe admitted that he believed the move against him was political and one of victimization. However, he did not elaborate on the point when pressed.
He said he is still considering a future in the political area.
“I’m going to weigh out the options and I guess I got five years to make that decision. Politics is in my blood and I know the people will definitely want me to be in front line politics and if it’s up to the people, if that’s their desire, then I will still do so.”
When asked if it would be for the DNA, he smiled and said: “Yes, still for the DNA.”
The DNA issued a statement on the matter yesterday evening in support of Mr Munroe.
“Mr. Munroe requests that now that the court of law has vindicated him of these allegations, he trusts that the Bahamian people would also vindicate him and not judge him in the court of public opinion,” the statement read.
“As for Mr. Munroe, he will continue to build his life, build the community and focus on his family. Mr. Munroe has instructed his legal team to pursue Junior Achievement and the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture to seek all amicable resolution to restoring his character and financial losses during this process. “