Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Trafigura constitutional appeal withdrawn

Published:Monday | December 1, 2014 | 1:03 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Lawyers representing Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and other People's National Party officials have withdrawn their appeal of a ruling that their constitutional rights will not be breached if they testify in the Trafigura investigations.

Last September, the Constitutional Court dismissed an application challenging an order for them to answer questions on oath, in court, on the Trafigura case.

Attorney, K.D. Knight, who represented the PNP officials in court today says the case was withdrawn because it was weak.

In its ruling last year, the Constitutional Court said Simpson Miller, party chairman Robert Pickersgill, and senior members Colin Campbell and Phillip Paulwell and businessman Norton Hinds failed to prove their arguments using credible evidence.

The Court said there has been no proven or likely breach of any of the constitutional rights alleged to have been infringed by them being required to attend court and be questioned under oath.

Defense lawyers had argued that the PNP members cannot be called upon to give evidence in relation to Trafigura as they have diplomatic immunity.

Meanwhile, Knight says his team is awaiting the legal transcripts to continue its appeal of Supreme Court justice Lennox Campbell.

Justice Campbell had refused an application that the interrogation of party leader Portia Simpson Miller and other party officials be done in a private setting.

Dutch authorities want to question the PNP members about a $31 million donation to the party by Dutch company Trafigura Beheer.

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

At the time of the donation in 2006, Trafigura also had an oil-lifting contract with the PNP Administration which formed the government.


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