JIS News

Attorney for the Jamaican Redevelopment Foundation (JRF), Sandra Minott-Phillips’ late objection to the appearance of former Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Karl Blythe, at the FINSAC Enquiry on Thursday July 14, 2011, was sternly rejected by the Commission on Tuesday July 12, 2011.

Mrs. Minott-Phillips objected on the grounds that the Commissioners had already rejected calling former Prime Minister, the Most Hon P.J. Patterson, therefore there was no need for Dr. Blythe, who was only a member of Patterson’s cabinet.

“Could a cabinet minister who was responsible for water and housing and was a vice-president of the People’s National Party assist the Commission with its terms of reference? Because the decision does seem to be inconsistent with a previous decision which the Commission has expressed that it has taken, that the (former) Prime Minister could not assist,” Mrs. Minott-Phillips said.

She was supported by the attorney for the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC), Brian Moodie, who told the commissioners, “FINSAC has joined Counsel in that objection”.

But, Commission chairman, Worrick Bogle, indicated that “the Commission has made a decision to invite Dr. Blythe”, and would stick by that decision. He also informed counsels that Dr. Blythe would appear in his role as a member of the 1990s cabinet, and not as a FINSAC debtor.

FINSAC sold the bad debts it acquired during the 1990s financial sector meltdown to the Dennis Joslin owned JRF in 2002, for an undisclosed sum.

In response to attorney Anthony Levy, who has been representing Century National’s Don Crawford at the enquiry, Mr. Bogle said every effort is being made to have back Mr. Crawford for cross-examination.

He said that the commission is in touch with him, several dates have been suggested for the video-conferencing, but there are technical matters which have to be worked out.

“We are trying to have Mr. Crawford come back, but we can’t just set a date and that is it. We have to work with them,” the chairman said. Mr. Crawford, who was examined by Mr. Levy on June 7, is to return for cross-examination.

Government’s shutdown of Mr. Crawford’s Century National Bank (CNB) on July 10, 1996,is widely regarded as the spark that lit the 1990s financial sector meltdown.

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