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Court turns down PNP request to put off Trafigura hearing
2012-09-24 12:39:32 | (0 Comments)
The Constitutional Court has turned down a request by the People’s National Party to put off the hearing into the Trafigura matter.
This morning, attorney-at-law Bert Samuels asked the panel of jurists to postpone the case saying KD Knight, another attorney for the claimants is off the island.
However, after a brief recess to consider the request the judges returned, telling the court that Samuels’ request to delay the hearing would not be granted.
The Trafigura matter is now scheduled to resume at 2 p.m.
PNP attorney KD Knight is now in Guyana, as part of a Commission of Enquiry into the police shooting of protestors in Linden on July 18.
The Constitutional Court judges said it was Knight who elected to go to Guyana and beyond that, he had sufficient time to request that the dates scheduled for the Trafigura hearing be vacated.
In opposing the application for the case to be postponed, Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Caroline Hay said it was important to have the matter settled as a criminal case is now pending in Holland.
However, Hay said the criminal case could not continue until the result of the Jamaica hearing is known.
The People’s National Party is challenging an order for several of its members to answer questions relating to the controversial $31 million donation by Trafigura.
Dutch authorities want to question PNP President Portia Simpson Miller, party chairman Robert Pickergill and senior members Phillip Paulwell and Colin Campbell about the donation.
It is illegal for Dutch companies to donate to political parties.
At the time of the donation in 2006, Trafigura had an oil-lifting contract with the PNP Administration.
In court documents, the PNP is contending that the order for its officials to answer questions in relation to the Trafigura probe by Dutch authorities is a breach of their constitutional rights.
The matter was sent to the Constitutional Court after the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by Supreme Court Judge Lennox Campbell on December 5, 2011.
Justice Campbell had denied a request by the PNP to take the matter to the Constitutional Court saying the questions being put to the politicians were served on them long ago and they had enough time to raise their concerns.
The Trafigura hearing in the Supreme Court has been suspended pending the outcome of the motion in the Constitutional Court.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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