Privy Council Rules Against GorStew in ATL Pension Fund Case

The UK-based judicial committee of the Privy Council has rejected a landmark application filed by lawyers for Gorstew Limited which is owned by hotel mogul, Gordon Butch Stewart.

The lawyers asked the Privy Council to overturn a decision made by Jamaica’s Appeals Court to deny their application for leave to use the Judicial Review Court to challenge a decision made by former Resident Magistrate, Lorna Shelly-Williams.

Gorstew had sought to challenge the decision made by Mrs. Shelly Williams in June 2014 to uphold a no-case submission and free three former ATL executives of fraud. ATL is also owned by Butch Stewart.

In June 2014, Patrick Lynch, Catherine Barber and the late, Dr Jeffery Pine, were freed in the Half Way Tree Criminal Court.

The former ATL executives were accused by Mr. Stewart of defrauding the ATL pension fund of millions of dollars. But Mrs. Shelly Williams, who has since been promoted to the Supreme Court, ruled that they had no case to answer.

The decision by Gorstew to attempt to access the Judicial Review Court to challenge the decision of the Judge had raised eyebrows in some legal circles because prosecutors in Jamaica do not have the right of appeal.

Justice Shelly-Williams, along with Mr. Lynch, Mr, Pyne and Mrs. Barber were named as defendants in the application which was filed before the Privy Council.

In a ruling delivered recently, the Privy Council said the application should be refused because it does not raise an arguable point of law which would enable it to succeed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Stewart’s company will have to fork out millions of dollars in legal fees following its loss at the Privy Council.

Attorney for Mr. Lynch, KD Knight, says he’s not surprised the Privy Council has ordered Gorstew to pay his client’s legal bill.

Mr. Knight says the Privy Council made the right decision in rebuffing the attempt to challenge the decision to free the former ATL Executives.

Efforts this afternoon to contact attorneys for Gorstew were unsuccessful.

— 30 —