‘Secrecy would’ve been unthinkable’.
That’s the word from attorney-at-law, Peter Knox, who today made submissions in the UK-based Privy Council’s hearing in relation to the appeal filed by PNP-officials in the case connected to the long- running Trafigura Beheer corruption scandal.
The UK based attorney represented the Director of Public Prosecutions in the proceedings that was heard virtually.
The PNP officials had appealed a ruling by Justice Lennox Campbell that they must give testimony about the corruption scandal in open court.
Dutch investigators want to question senior PNP communication official, Colin Campbell and the party’s then-campaign director, Phillip Paulwell about a 31-million donation by Trafigura Beheer to the then-governing PNP in 2006.
The dutch authorities also want to question former PNP President Portia Simpson Miller, ex-PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill and businessman, Norton Hinds.
Mr. Knox in his submissions rubbished arguments by Queen’s Counsel KD Knight who submitted that statements aren’t taken in open court.
Mr. Knight is apart of the legal team representing the appellants.
Mr. Knox says it would’ve have been unthinkable for the officials to give testimony in secrecy.
He further agree with Justice Campbell that due to public interest nature of the matter, it would’ve have been reasonable to rule that the officials testify in open court.
All submissions were heard today in the matter.
These are now expected to go before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for a decision.
Meanwhile, Mr. Knox submitted that when all interests in the proceedings are weighed, the scale would tilt in favour of the officials giving testimony in open court.
He also argued that in Jamaica where many citizens are reluctant to give evidence, the officials testifying in open court would demonstrate their willingness to cooperate in investigations.
Peter Knox, UK attorney representing the Director of Public Prosecutions.