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Portia, former ministers for court tomorrow in ongoing Trafigura corruption case

Published:Sunday | June 5, 2016 | 12:09 PM
Portia Simpson Miller

Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller and three of her former ministers are to appear in court tomorrow in relation to the ongoing corruption case against Dutch oil firm, Trafigura Beheer.  

Simpson Miller, along with former cabinet ministers Phillip Paulwell, Robert Pickersgill, and Colin Campbell, as well as PNP member and businessman, Norton Hinds were subpoenaed by high court judge Lennox Campbell last week to answer questions in the matter.

However, the case is to be stayed when they appear tomorrow pending the hearing of the appeal filed by lawyers representing Simpson Miller and the other members of the PNP.

On Friday, the Appeal Court had dismissed an application by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to strike out the appeal filed by lawyers for the PNP members. President of the Appeal Court, Justice Dennis Morrison, who delivered the decision, had also ordered that all proceedings in the Trafigura case be stayed until the appeal is heard.

PNP lawyers say their clients had given verbal notice in 2014 that they planned to appeal a court ruling that upheld a decision by Justice Lennox Campbell for the Trafigura case to be heard in open court.

Morrison says the court registrar has been directed to fix a date, in consultation with all parties, for the hearing of the appeal.

Dutch authorities want to question officials of the PNP about a J$31 million donation by Dutch company Trafigura Beheer to the party in 2006.

It is illegal for Dutch companies to donate to political parties.

At the time of the donation, Trafigura had an oil-lifting contract with a Jamaican state agency under the then PNP administration.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which is the designated central authority under Jamaica's mutual legal assistance treaty with The Netherlands, wants to pose the questions to the PNP officials on behalf of the Dutch authorities.