The daughter-in-law of the former Conservative party treasurer Lord Ashcroft has been charged in Belize with manslaughter by negligence over the shooting death of a police superintendent.
Jasmine Hartin was being held following the discovery of the body of Henry Jemmott, 42, near a jetty in the resort town of San Pedro early on Friday.
“The charge is manslaughter by negligence,” her lawyer, Godfrey Smith, told local media outside court on Monday. “Bail has been denied. We appeal to the supreme court, as is normal.”
A further statement is expected to be issued by Hartin’s lawyers later on Tuesday.
Chester Williams, a police commissioner, previously said that after a single gunshot was heard on Friday morning, police investigated and “found the female on a pier, and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing”.
The gun involved belonged to Jemmott, who was found in the water with a single bullet wound to the head.
Police have said that Jemmott was known to be friends with Hartin, a 38-year-old American who is married to Andrew Ashcroft, the son of the Tory donor and peer.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Hartin is the director of lifestyle and experience at the Alaia Belize hotel group, a company run by her 43-year-old husband.
Lord Ashcroft is domiciled in Belize and is a citizen of the Central American country but remains active in UK politics. The millionaire businessman is former deputy chair of the Conservative party and has also represented Belize at the UN.
He donated more than £11m to the Tories up to 2010. The peer then paused his financial support, but resumed again recently, contributing £100,000 last year to the Tory candidate for the London mayoral election, Shaun Bailey.
Made a life peer in 2000, Ashcroft was the subject of a political storm when he confirmed he was still a “non-dom”, meaning his permanent home was not in the UK, so he did not pay UK tax on overseas earnings.
He remained in the House of Lords until 2015, then resigned his seat, but kept his peerage.