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Monday, 19 April 2021 12:55

Privy Council Slaps Down PNP in Trafigura Corruption Scandal

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The UK-based judicial committee of the Privy Council has rejected the appeal filed by lawyers for several senior PNP officials who had objected to a decision by the Courts in Jamaica that their clients must testify in public about the long-running Trafigura Beheer corruption scandal.

The Privy Council handed down its decision this morning.

The 21-page judgement was published on the Privy Council’s website.

 

The Law Lord’s of the Privy Council noted that the Trafigura issue is one of significant public interest in Jamaica.

The Privy Council says the nature of the issue under investigation is capable of affecting the polity or political identity of Jamaica.

The Law Lords said the public interest surrounding the issue and potential impact on Jamaica, is highly relevant to whether evidence should be heard in public.

And in rejecting the appeal filed by lawyers for the PNP officials, the Privy Council said no evidence was given to the Court which led it to conclude that a public hearing would jeopardize the investigation into the corruption scandal in the Netherlands or a subsequent probe which may follow in Jamaica.

The Privy Council says lack of evidence provided by lawyers for the PNP to support their arguments, is among the reasons why their appeal has been dismissed.

Dutch investigators want to question former Prime Minister and ex-PNP President, Portia Simpson Miller, and the party’s former Chairman, Robert Pickersgill, along with businessman Norton Hinds, about a $31-million donation which was allegedly made to the PNP in 2006.

The Dutch investigators also want to question current PNP Chairman, Phillip Paulwell and the party’s former General Secretary, Colin Campbell about the donation.

Trafigura has claimed the donation was made to the then Simpson Miller led-administration.

But the PNP officials had alleged that the donation was made to the PNP.

The donation was made shortly before an oil lifting contract which Trafigura had with the then Simpson Miller-administration came up for renewal.

It’s against Dutch criminal law for companies such as Trafigura to have made donations to a political party.

The Trafigura Beheer corruption scandal had resulted in the resignation of Colin Campbell as PNP General Secretary and the country’s then information Minister.

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