Jamaica:Court reserves judgement in matter involving Prime Minister Simpson-Miller
Jamaica Prime Minister.,Portia Simpson-Miller. PHOTO/File
The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment in a case where attorneys representing Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller say she should be granted immunity from testifying in the matter regarding the financial contribution made by a Dutch company to the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) in 2007.
Both the prosecution and defence lawyers ended their arguments on Monday and the Court has indicated it would issue its judgement at a later stage.
The lawyers for Simpson-Miller raised the issue of immunity last week after the Dutch authorities sought to have her give a statement in the matter relating to the donations made by the oil lifting firm, Trafigura Beheer.
Simpson-Miller’s attorneys are stoutly opposed to the request by the Dutch authorities for her to give a statement about the US$ 300,000 given to the PNP by Trafigura in 2007 during the political campaign.
PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill, Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell, former parliamentarian Colin Campbell and businessman Norton Hinds are the other persons challenging the application.
However, the prosecution argued that there are no constitutional rights to be breached since the five officials are not suspects.
Trafigura had an oil-lifting contract with the government of Jamaica at the time the donation was made and the issue came to light when then Opposition Leader Bruce Golding (who eventually became Prime Minister) accused Trafigura of illegally making the donation.
Campbell, who was the PNP’s general secretary, resigned after he was implicated in the transaction. -(CMC)