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JIS News

KINGSTON – The issue of the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC) not being represented at the enquiry into its own operations, was raised at the meeting on Wednesday March 16.

Secretary to the Commission, Fernando dePeralto, told JIS News that FINSAC was invited to participate in the enquiry, but have chosen not to be present.

Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry, Worren Bogle, said however that the absence of an attorney representing FINSAC was a problem for the agency, not the Commission.

“FINSAC’s representatives are going to appear before the Commission, so we will be able to ask all the questions we need to ask. They are the ones who will have a problem, from not having someone here watching the proceedings on their behalf,” Mr. Bogle told JIS News.

Former General Manager of FINSAC, Errol Campbell, has appeared before the Commission on a number of occasions, but was unable to provide several answers and documents. It is not clear who would represent FINSAC the next time around.

The issue popped up as the enquiry continued at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, while attorney for the Jamaican Redevelopment Foundation (JRF) Inc., Sandra Minott Phillips, cross-examined realtor Lascelles Poyser, who lost several businesses and a fortune in the 1990s financial meltdown which triggered the creation of FINSAC by the previous Government. FINSAC sold the bad debts to Texan investor Dennis Joslin, who established JRF to administer them.

Mr. Poyser’s attorney, Judith Clarke, suggested that in dealing with issues relating to FINSAC, the attorneys “would be best served awaiting evidence from FINSAC."

“I must say that I find it extraordinary that in an enquiry of this nature, we have no legal representative here from FINSAC Limited,” Mrs. Minott Phillips responded.

At this point, Mr. Bogle explained that FINSAC had been advised about being represented at the enquiry, but has failed to do so. Among the Commission’s Terms of Reference is to “review the operations of FINSAC, in relation to the delinquent borrowers, to determine if they were treated fairly and equally…”

Mr. Bogle’s co-commissioners are investments manager Charles Ross and retired judge, Justice Henderson Downer. The enquiry continues today March 17.

 

By BALFORD HENRY, JIS Reporter & Editor