PM, other PNP members begin fight in Appeals Court to prevent testimony in Trafigura probe
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will, starting today, attempt to convince the Appeals Court that a lower court was wrong in ruling that her constitutional rights will not be breached if she testifies in the Trafigura investigations.
Last September, the Constitutional Court dismissed an application challenging an order for Simpson Miller and other People’s National Party (PNP) members to answer questions on oath, in court, on the Trafigura case.
Dutch authorities want to question Simpson Miller, party chairman Robert Pickersgill, and senior members Colin Campbell and Phillip Paulwell and businessman Norton Hinds about a $31 million donation to the party by Dutch company Trafigura Beheer.
It is illegal for Dutch companies to donate to political parties.
At the time of the donation in 2006, Trafigura also had an oil-lifting contract with the PNP Administration which formed the government.
The hearing in the Court of Appeal is scheduled to last until Friday.
Court president, Justice Seymour Panton, along with justices Norma McIntosh and Patrick Brooks will preside over the case.
In its ruling last year, the Constitutional Court said Simpson Miller and the others failed to prove their arguments using credible evidence.
The Court said there has been no proven or likely breach of any of the constitutional rights alleged to have been infringed by them being required to attend court and be questioned under oath.
Defense lawyers had argued that the PNP members cannot be called upon to give evidence in relation to Trafigura as they have diplomatic immunity.
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