ATTORNEY-AT-LAW DEBORAH Martin argued on Wednesday that the process which culminated in the court order compelling Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and others to answer questions in the Trafigura issue was politically motivated.She referred to the fact that it was the then leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, Bruce Golding, who had written to the Dutch authorities, asking for an investigation into the $31-million donation to the People's National Party.
The money was donated in 2006 by Trafigura, which had an oil-lifting contract with the Government.
Martin was making submissions on behalf of her clients, Philip Paulwell and Colin Campbell, before the Constitutional Court comprising Justice Horace Marsh, Justice Leighton Pusey and Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop.
Simpson Miller, along with the other claimants, including Robert Pickersgill, chairman of the PNP, and businessman Norton Hinds, are challenging an ex parte order, obtained by the director of public prosecutions, representing the central authority for them to answer questions in court.
Martin submitted that the November 2010 Supreme Court order, to compel the claimants to answer questions in relation to the Trafigura probe, was an abuse of the process of the court.
She said the order breached their constitutional rights and, without the intervention of the court, it would continue. Martin said the claimants, because of their affiliation with a certain organisation, were not being treated in the same manner in which ordinary citizens were treated. She said the claimants were of the view that the entire process was political.
Martin submitted that the ex parte order granted by the Supreme Court, compelling them to answer questions, and from the questions being asked, they were being treated as suspects.
She said it was a breach of their constitutional rights to compel them to answer questions in court and asked the court to grant them the declarations being sought.
Attorney-at-law Bert Samuels submitted on Wednesday that the claimants, including Simpson Miller and Pickersgill who he represents, had asked through their lawyer, KD Knight, to know which public official was allegedly bribed in the Trafigura matter.
They said if the information was not forthcoming, they could not assist in the investigations. Samuels said the Dutch investigators did not respond to the question.