David Evans QC's Cross-Examination in Gibraltar Fraud Causes Prosecution to Withdraw Case

Judge Clears Defendants of all Charges in Building Society Fraud Case

[From Gibraltar Chronicle, 12 June 2012, Dominique Searle]

"Cross examination of a key prosecution witness yesterday brought a snap end to the trial of three local businessmen charged with fraud before it had gone much beyond its second day.

Under the direct instruction of Mr Justice Barrington Black the jury found Liam Kenny, Adrian Oton and Paul Chichon not guilty of all charges against them, a move that saw not only the case collapse but the parties fully exonerated.

The witness was the RGP officer investigating the case of fraud against the three defendants who have been under the cloud of the case for several years.

The Supreme Court trial opened on Monday and the defendants were faced with charges of conspiracy to defraud the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society. They also faced separate individual charges of false accounting.

These charges dated back to events in February 2008 and the prosecution was alleging that each contributed to Mr Kenny’s providing of misleading, false or deceptive information to the building society in order to obtain a £270,000 mortgage for a flat in Ocean Breeze, Ocean Village.

But the case having been halted on Tuesday evening, prosecutor Johan Fernandez arrived in court yesterday morning with the decision not to proceed.

The judge commended the decision and pointed out that the prosecution case had been that the men had acted dishonestly to obtain the mortgage by suggesting that Mr Kenny earned £80,000 basic salary when that had been only £24,000. It was however made clear that no one had suffered any loss since Mr Kenny had sustained the mortgage payments, now estimated at some £70,000, and the building society had not sold the house.

“There is no loser in this case,” said the judge. PC Romero who had investigated the case had told the court that he was satisfied that from the various incomes streams linked to his employer Mr Kenny was in fact earning £80,000 altogether.

Mr Justice Barrington Black ordered the jury to return not guilty findings for all charges.

Mr Kenny was represented by David Evans QC, with Kenneth Navas, Mr Oton by David Dumas, QC, with Julian Santos and Mr Chichon by Robert Vasquez, QC, with Dairon Trenado and Jay Gomez..."