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2003-03-13 19:14:26

Pindling Claims Extortion

Testimony continues in trial

Prominent attorney, Obie Pindling, son of former Prime Minister the late Sir Lynden Pindling, told the Supreme Court today that he believed allegations suggesting his involvement in Joyanne Cartwright's murder, are an "evil conspiracy" and an attempt to extort money from him.

Mr Pindling, while being cross-examined, said he has drawn his own conclusions as to the source of the conspiracy, but was not allowed to reveal the identity of the source.

Mr Pindling told the court that he dismissed the accusations as a fraudulent attempt. He said he does not know why anyone would suggest that he killed Ms. Cartwright. He said at some point, he wishes that someone would explain to him why.

Mr Pindling said when he went to Georgia to visit murder accused, Ashley Newbold, he told him about two men who had visited his law office and threatened him.

He said Newbold told him that he did not know who the men were and told Mr Pindling not to worry about it. Mr Pindling said he gave Newbold all of the details about the conversation he had with the men.

Mr Pindling said he told Newbold that the men had informed him, that Ms. Cartwright had some money for the accused.

Mr Pindling said the men told him that because Ms. Cartwright did not give Newbold the money, he (Mr Pindling) would have to pay it.

Mr Pindling said Newbold told him that he needed more money, despite the fact that the $30,000 he had been sending Newbold in portions was exhausted. Mr Pindling told the court that Newbold had told him he needed to take a test, and demanded $50,000 from him.

Mr Pindling said he was threatened to be implicated in Ms. Cartwright's murder, if the demand was not met. Mr Pindling said he gave an interview to the police after the threats were made.

He said police questioned him about purchasing a gun and renting a car for Newbold. He said during that interview, he gave "full fledged" truthful answers to the questions they asked.

Mr Pindling also told the court that he had a key to Ms. Cartwright's apartment during their relationship. However, he said when that relationship ended, Ms. Cartwright changed the locks.

Mr Pindling said long after Ms. Cartwright left the law firm, she continued working for an American client of his, named Philip Gurian. He said after Ms. Cartwright's death, the police collected a number of things from her apartment that belonged to Mr Gurian.

Mr Pindling said there was an FBI probe concerning Mr Gurian, in relation to Ms. Ms. Cartwright's murder. He said Mr Gurian was indicted with others in the U.S. and he said in that indictment, Ms. Ms. Cartwright's death was mentioned.

Mr Pindling said he was questioned by the Bahamian authorities and FBI agents in the United States. Mr Pindling said $1.8 million had been stolen from his client account.

The defence ended its case today.

By Rogan M. Smith, The Bahama Journal

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