Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Court of Appeal rules against PNP in Trafigura case ... Simpson Miller and others to answer questions in open court

Published:Friday | June 23, 2017 | 6:13 AM

The nation's highest court this morning dismissed the appeal brought by former People's National Party (PNP) president Portia Simpson Miller and four other party functionaries in the long-delayed Trafigura case.

The decision, which was announced by the President of the Court of Appeal Dennis Morrison, paves the way for Simpson Miller, PNP chairman Robert Pickersgill, regional chairman Phillip Paulwell, former general secretary Colin Campbell and businessman Norton Hinds to answer questions in open court about a $31 million donation made to the PNP by the Dutch firm Trafigura Baheer more than a decade ago.

Their attorneys, K.D. Knight and Patrick Atkinson declined comment as the left the courtroom in downtown Kingston, saying they needed time to peruse the 78-paragraph ruling.

Paula Llewellyn, the nation's chief prosecutor, whose office acts on behalf of the Dutch authorities, also declined comment.

However, judicial insiders say the decision clears the way for the Chief Justice to assign a judge preside over the process of seeking answers from the five PNP functionaries to a number of questions that were prepared by Dutch authorities.

Justice Lennox Campbell, who ruled that they should give answers in open court and had started the process, has since retired.