JIS News

The Government notes the recent press statement from the Opposition spokesman on Justice concerning issues relating to the absence of lawyers from the Attorney General’s office as advisors to the Commission of Enquiry and marshalling the evidence in the Finsac enquiry.
The fact of the matter is that the Attorney General’s Department would be placed in an invidious position if it were to marshal the evidence in the enquiry, as suggested by the Opposition spokesman for the following reasons. The Attorney General’s office was instrumental in the setting up and incorporation of Finsac. In its early years, and more recently, the Attorney General represented Finsac in numerous matters both in Court and by way of negotiations with various debtors and financial institutions. Indeed, after Dr. Gladstone Bonnick demitted office as Chairman of the Board of Finsac, former Solicitor General Dr. K. O. Rattray, Q.C., O.J. assumed the office of Chairman of the Board of Finsac.
In these circumstances, and having regard to the fact that the Attorney General is the leader of the Jamaican Bar, it must uphold the standards of the legal profession and avoid situations of conflict of interest where it is patently clear that this will arise. Finsac, the institution, has been invited to participate in the enquiry, and the Attorney General is committed to representing the institution at the enquiry. It would, therefore, be wholly inappropriate for the Attorney General’s office to be advisers to the Commission and marshal evidence before the Commission and appear and represent Finsac in the said enquiry.

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