Wednesday, June 01, 2016
ATTORNEYS representing Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller and three People’s National Party (PNP) officials in the long-standing Trafigura matter yesterday filed an appeal seeking to halt the proceedings after High Court Judge Justice Lennox Campbell ordered that subpoenas be issued for them.
“I’ll be going to court on Monday. A court order will be shown to the judge, and that should end the matter for that day. An appeal has already been filed and the court order is a consequence of that appeal,” Queen’s Counsel K D Knight told the
Jamaica Observer when contacted yesterday.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, QC, yesterday explained that the subpoenas were issued after Simspon Miller, Robert Pickersgill, Phillip Paulwell, Colin Campbell, and businessman Norton Hinds failed to appear in court. The witnesses were required to give sworn testimony regarding the investigation by the Netherlands Government into the payment, in September 2006, of $31 million to an account bearing the name CCOC to which certain members of the PNP were signatories.
The Trafigura scandal rocked the then governing PNP after it emerged that the party accepted the money from the Dutch firm which, at the time, had an oil-lifting agreement with Jamaica.
The PNP had said the money was a donation, but Trafigura said it was payment on a commercial transaction. The party has since said the money was returned.
The saga resulted in Campbell’s resignation from the Cabinet and as PNP general secretary. It was also widely believed to have contributed to the party losing the 2007 General Election.
Since November 2011 the matter has been dragging through the courts, as defence lawyers have tried unsuccessfully to have it heard in chambers.
Yesterday, the DPP said that attorney Bert Samuels, along with Juranell Smalling, who appear for Paulwell, were the only ones from the defence who appeared in court for the completion of the matter.
All parties in the matter, the DPP said, were invited by the registrar of the Supreme Court. more