Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Symbiote lawyer speaks out

Published:Thursday | July 21, 2016 | 7:05 AM
Attorney for Symbiote Investments Limited, Patrick Bailey.

Attorney for Symbiote Investments Limited, Patrick Bailey has raised concern about the publication of adverse findings by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) about the company before it was given an opportunity to be heard by the proper authorities.

In a statement yesterday, Bailey said he has seen the OCG's report and noted several findings which require legal advice and consultation.

Contractor General Dirk Harrison has advised Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Andrew Wheatley not to sign the Domestic Mobile Spectrum Licence which was granted to Symbiote Investments Limited.

The advice was given in a special report of investigation conducted into the circumstances surrounding the granting of a domestic mobile spectrum licence to the company.

Harrison said this is based upon facts which directly associate George Neil with Symbiote Investments Limited and the existence of adverse traces in relation to Mr. Neil.

He said these adverse traces were also the subject of the OCG’s 2009 investigation which was conducted into the circumstances surrounding the grant of telecommunications licences to Index Communications Network Limited trading as ‘Gotel’.

Harrison pointed out that the entities Index Communications Network Limited trading as ‘Gotel’ and NewGen Technologies Company Limited merged their networks and were operating under the brand of Symbiote Investments Limited.

The OCG also concluded that the variations to Neil’s names on some applications represent an attempt to mislead the Government of Jamaica in terms of the true identity of the directors, shareholders and beneficial owners of the referenced companies.  

The OCG noted George Neil was added as a Director of Symbiote Investments Limited on June 2, 2016 and was removed on July 1, 2016.

However, yesterday, the company's attorney Patrick Bailey argued that there are several questionable findings by the OCG that could have easily been clarified by the production of documents that were already in the possession of the regulators.

For example, he noted that the police had conclusively stated that George Neil was not the subject of any investigation, in direct response to the concern that he was the subject of an adverse trace.

Bailey said the OCG's report has not raised any new material that should cause the Minister or Cabinet to resile from their decision to grant the licence.