JIS News

KINGSTON — Two members of the financial community have been subpoenaed to appear before the FINSAC Commission of Enquiry this week.

Former Jamaica Bankers Association (JBA) president and chairman of the defunct Horizon Group, Elon Beckford,  was examined Thursday (March 24) and has been subpoenaed to return today, to be cross examined by lawyers for the Jamaican Redevelopment Foundation (JRF) and the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC).

Current managing director of FINSAC, Errol Campbell, who also appeared earlier, has been subpoenaed to appear again on Thursday (May 5), after failing to provide some of the answers requested by the Commission in February 2010.

FINSAC Commission secretary, Fernando Deperalto, did not say why it was necessary to subpoena both witnesses to return, but noted that with the subpoenas they are legally required to appear on the dates they are summoned.

In the meantime, the New Kingston-based law firm, Samuda and Johnson, has been retained to represent FINSAC at the enquiry. This follows concerns raised by several parties about the absence of legal representation for the entity, which is at the centre of the issues being reviewed by the Commission. Attorneys Christopher Samuda and Brian Moodie were present Tuesday on behalf of FINSAC.

Former FINSAC boss and current Managing Director of National Commercial Bank (NCB), Patrick Hylton, who led the government-owned company during the 1990s, is scheduled to appear on May 10 and 11.

Chairman of the commission, chartered accountant Worrick Bogle, told JIS News that former Chairman of Century National Bank (CNB), Don Crawford, whose fall from financial grace is often referred to as the signal for the start of the meltdown, will appear “unless something happens”.

He said that the Commission is in discussions with Mr. Crawford, and he is expected to appear via video conferencing from the United States, where he now resides, before the enquiry ends.

“We are still in discussions with him, and we are trying to resolve the issues,” Mr. Bogle said.

The chairman admitted that the Commission has been taking some time to complete its enquiry, but attributed it to problems with scheduling, mainly due to the unavailability of witnesses and lawyers. However, he hopes to complete the process in June.

“I know it is a moving goal post, but a lot of times when we make up a schedule we find that lawyers and witnesses can’t make it on the dates they are supposed to. We hope to end in June, but it depends on whether or not we can’t get them to cooperate,” he said.

The subpoenas are expected to speed up the process.

                                                                               

By BALFORD HENRY, JIS Reporter & Editor