A local attorney with experience in the United States legal system believes the recent request by Andrew Fahie’s legal team to repoll two jurors following their decision to recant their guilty verdicts, is unlikely to be granted.

The attorney who requested anonymity noted that while it is highly unlikely for the request to be granted, he said in the court of law anything is possible.

He highlighted two key points from the courtroom proceedings on Thursday, February 8, following the submission of the verdicts as the main reasons he believes a repolling is unlikely.

The first included the polling of the jury where each juror confirmed their individual verdict while the other was the court discharging the jury and thanking the jurors for their service after the closing remarks by the court was made.

The attorney noted that because the concerns relating to Jurors B and C were raised after the two aforementioned developments, the available legal options to repoll an already dismissed jury were extremely limited.

“Typically, if such a situation occurred before dismissal, the judge would instruct them to deliberate further to reach a consensus on charges. However, reconstituting the jury after dismissal is uncertain and less likely, as the defence is requesting,” he said.

Declaring a mistrial as an option

Weighing in on the other options available to Fahie’s legal team, the attorney addressed the avenues relating to requesting a mistrial.

He said proving error during the trial would be an uphill battle as the judge must admit that an error was committed on the court’s end. He noted had the jurors not confirmed their individual verdicts prior to being discharged, that would have been an area to explore in presenting a case for a mistrial under the present circumstance involving the two jurors.

“If a mistrial is declared, it grants the government the option to retry the case since it was not determined on its merits. The government has the authority to initiate a new case and begin the legal proceedings anew. Alternatively, they could opt to abandon the case, stating it’s not worth the time and effort, thereby allowing Andrew to be released. This scenario contrasts with an innocent verdict, where the government cannot retry the case since it has reached completion,” he explained.

Does this predicament help Fahie?

284 Media enquired as to whether the dilemma involving the two jurors benefited Fahie’s case. The attorney expressed doubt unless a mistrial is declared.

He believes it would not help Fahie on legal grounds for appeal and does not predict the jury being repolled, suggesting the conviction would likely stand. However, he said if a mistrial is declared, it could be advantageous, prompting the government to assess the effort and expense of bringing the case again.

Frustrated jurors – nothing new

The attorney was also questioned on whether the previous frustration from the jurors during the trial could be used as an argument to aid Fahie’s legal team in vying for a mistrial.  

Describing the jurors’ frustrations during the trial, the attorney noted that it is a common issue in high-stakes cases where jurors, often unfamiliar with each other, face inconveniences and disruptions to their daily lives. Despite being considered part of civic duty, the attorney emphasized the challenges faced by jurors, particularly when their normal routines are interrupted.

The length of jury deliberation wasn’t surprising

As it pertains to the length of the deliberation of the verdict, the attorney said he was not surprised that it returned within a few hours, rather, he was surprised that a guilty verdict was returned on all four counts.

“I wasn’t taken back by that observation because the trial wasn’t overly complex. Based on the media reports, it appears that the defence did not strongly contest the established facts of the case. I’m uncertain what additional discussions they would have engaged in if the trial had continued longer, as there seemed to be limited grounds for debate on the factual aspects of the case,” he said.

Defence was questionable

The attorney also commented on the defence strategy by Fahie’s legal team which was vastly based on the theory that the former premier was set up by the United Kingdom Government.

He questioned the logic behind the strategy, noting that the components simply did not add up in his opinion.

“To me, the argument lacked coherence and didn’t align logically. The focus seemed to revolve around the idea that the UK orchestrated a sting operation to trap him in this process. Even if we accept this argument entirely, I find it challenging to comprehend the defendant’s motives and end game to escape the situation,” he said.

“Let’s assume everything the defence claimed is entirely true – that the UK targeted Andrew, facilitated the US government’s involvement in the DEA investigation, and he was fully aware of the fabricated drugs and money. Despite this, understanding his actions and ultimate goal remains unclear to me. The defence mentioned a desire to have the plane seized.  But if it came to that, how would he admit to knowing the whole situation? Who would initiate the seizure? The premier does not control the police; it would have to be the same UK that allegedly set him up. If he believed the UK was framing him I’m uncertain about his endgame in that scenario,” the attorney further explained.

Both the prosecution and defence have until Thursday, February 15 to file their respective motions after which a decision will be made.

Fahie was initially set to be sentenced on April 29, 2024, following the initial guilty verdicts.