Members of the FINSAC Commission of Enquiry had a private meeting Wednesday morning March 23, to discuss speeding up the enquiry to meet an April closing deadline.
Chairman of the Commission, Worrick Bogle, told the media, following another aborted sitting on Wednesday March 23, that while the Commission is concerned about the slow pace, it understands the problems facing the parties.
“I am annoyed about the putting off hearings, but there are extenuating circumstances, sometimes. We had a meeting to discuss tightening up our schedule to reach a conclusion as soon as possible, but we have to allow the individuals and organizations time to organize their presentations,” he stated.
“We are willing to sit every day, but it depends on the other parties,” Mr. Bogle said. He noted that a major problem was the unavailability of the lawyers representing witnesses, due to their involvement with other cases in the Supreme Court.
“We have to look at the fact that the attorneys have other cases in the Supreme Court, and it is sometime difficult for them to attend sittings,” he said.
He said that the Commission was trying to have the enquiry wrapped up as quickly as possible. However, the problems with the lawyers, plus the fact that more people want to come forward, means that the earliest possible target date would be the end of April.
Mr. Bogle noted that the original deadline was September 2010, but that issues like the case involving the first chairman, Justice Boyd Carey, and his eventually replacement had thrown out that deadline.
He said that among the witnesses scheduled to appear are: former Jamaica Citizens Bank managing director and Bankers’ Association president, Elon Beckford, who will appear this week; former Eagle Bank boss, Dr. Paul Chen Young, who will appear via close circuit television on March 30; and former FINSAC head, Patrick Hylton. Former NCB managing director, Jeff Cobham and Mutual Life’s, Jim Parkes, are also likely to appear.
Mr. Bogle said he was not sure if and when former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, Richard Downer, will appear as he is abroad. Efforts to get Century Bank’s Don Crawford and Corporate Group’s Delroy Lindsay failed. The Commission continues Thursday (March 24) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston. The other Commissioners are Charles Ross and Justice Henderson Downer
By BALFORD HENRY, JIS Reporter & Editor