Canover Watson has lost his bid to appeal his conviction against six offenses in the CarePay corruption scandal.
The Appeal Court of the Cayman Islands has rejected all of his grounds for appeal and found them “wholly without merit” whilst upholding the trial judge's findings from February 2016.
Among other things Watson claimed he was a volunteer whilst serving on the HSA board and therefore did not met the legal definition of a public officer and fell outside the remit of the Anti-Corruption Law. His lawyer, Tom Price, QC, argued unsuccessfully that the $100 per meeting Watson received was not remuneration but a stipend to cover expenses. He further submitted that a reimbursement for expenses would not count as emolument and therefore he was not a public officer as that's a requirement. The Court of Appeal rejected this line of arguments.
He also submitted that the publicity surrounding his alleged co-conspirator's, Jeff Webb, guilty confession in the FIFA scandal was prejudicial to his ability to have a fair trial. However, the Court noted that he had attempted to shift blame onto Webb as part of his initial defense tactic.
There were other legal points made to the Court but all were rejected and Watson has been returned to Northward to serve the remainder of his sentence. Watson had access to legal aid to assist with his appeal.
Watson is serving a seven year sentence after a jury convicted him of two counts of conspiracy to defraud, one count of conflict of interest, one count of fraud on government and one count of breach of trust.