A magistrate did not have the authority to order an accused thief to repay her alleged victim in the middle of her trial, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Assistant Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain ordered 35-year-old paralegal Jeleah Turnquest to repay the $346,500 she allegedly stole during a property sale.
Turnquest has denied a charge of stealing by reason of service.
Bjorn Ferguson appealed the decision on the basis that it was premature since Turnquest’s guilt had not been decided.
The Court of Appeal agreed, quashed the decision and ordered the trial to continue.