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KINGSTON — The FINSAC Commission of Enquiry had a premature adjournment Wednesday morning (July 27), after the Commissioners refused to grant former Century National Bank (CNB) head, Don Crawford, more time for examination by his attorney.

Mr. Crawford, who appeared via video from Atlanta, Georgia and his attorney, Anthony Levy, insisted that when he first appeared before the Commission on June 7, he made an introductory statement, which should have been followed by his examination by Mr. Levy today, based on a statement he had submitted to the Commission.

Mr. Levy was supported by attorney Dave Garcia, who represents National Commercial Bank's Managing Director and a former FINSAC boss, Patrick Hylton. Mr. Garcia said that, as far as he recalled, Mr. Levy had said that he would continue his examination whenever Mr. Crawford reappeared.

But, Chairman of the Commission, Worrick Bogle, insisted this was not so. Mr. Bogle said that, as far as the Commission was concerned, Mr. Crawford's examination had been completed and the enquiry would proceed to his cross-examination by the other attorneys, after which Mr. Levy could re-examine.

The Commission took a break to resolve the issue, but that did not help. On the resumption, Mr. Bogle insisted that the cross examination must proceed.

"A lot of what Mr. Crawford was saying I was able to pick out in the statement. So, as far as I'm concerned, he was addressing the statement and we can talk and talk,  the ruling is what I have given and that is the situation," Mr. Bogle stated.

Mr. Levy advised Mr. Crawford that since he was not being allowed to complete his evidence, he should "walk away from the commission". Mr. Bogle said Mr. Crawford had a choice of being cross examined or taking Mr. Levy's advice to withdraw.

After a second break, Mr. Crawford told the Commission that, "in light of bias, prejudice and discrimination", he would abide by Mr. Levy's advice not to proceed. The enquiry was then adjourned.        

A spokesman for the Commission said that it was unlikely that Mr. Crawford would be asked to return, as he had refused to be cross examined. However, attorneys for persons who were named by Mr. Crawford in his opening statement could insist on rebutting his evidence.

The enquiry resumes Thursday morning (July 28) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, when the matter is expected to cleared up.

By Balford Henry, JIS Reporter and Editor