Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Gorstew files suit in Supreme Court

Published:Monday | September 10, 2012 | 12:43 PM

The company which purchased the government’s shares in the Sandals Whitehouse Hotel says it is asking the court to determine if the Contractor General has the power to investigate that deal.

In a full page advertisement in today’s Gleaner, Gorstew Limited, a company controlled by Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, said an application has been filed in the Supreme Court.

It said this action was taken after the company received a notice from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG), on June 20 informing it that the OCG’s investigations into the sale of Sandals Whitehouse in Westmoreland last June are continuing.

The OCG in a 22-page letter to then Prime Minister Brue Golding had raised concerns about the process observed in the divestment.

It pointed to possible irregularity and impropriety and urged the Prime Minister to halt the deal.

However, the government publicly assured that all was above board and went ahead with the sale.

Today in making its case, Gorstew said it feels so strongly about the matter that it is prepared to let the court determine the way forward.

The company said it was also informed by the OCG that its probe is based on an article in the Sunday Herald in December 2010, which stated that secret talks for the sale of the hotel were happening between the government and the Sandals chain.

Gorstew further said the basis on which the OCG is making its case generates the belief that any lie or suss can create a lawsuit which questions the legitimacy of government transactions.

The company said while it has full respect for the OCG, its legal experts have advised that the Contractor General has no jurisdiction in the matter.

The company believes it would be an indictment on Jamaica and a travesty of natural justice, if any effort was allowed to try to undermine the sale and sully the reputation of those involved in the negotiations, more than one year after the deal had been finalised.