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Friday D-day for Duprey, Monteil
Sir Anthony Colman has said the Clico/HCU commission of enquiry will determine on Friday its next step with regard to the witness summonses that have been served to former CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey and its financial director Andre Monteil. He was speaking yesterday on the seventh day of the 11th session of enquiry at the Winsure Building, Port-of-Spain.
Colman said: “The two witness summonses, the one against Mr Duprey and the one against Mr Monteil, will be adjourned generally. “There will be in relation to each of those two witness summonses a hearing on Friday 8th March which will be related to directions and discussions relating to as to what happens next procedurally, in relation to each of the two witnesses summoned. We will proceed with regards to the agreements put forward on that occasion.”
Last week Colman ordered that Duprey and Monteil appear before the enquiry this week. Lionel Luckhoo, attorney for Duprey, told Colman yesterday Duprey’s legal team made an application on Monday asking for the matter to be dealt with Friday. He added: “I have not been instructed to accept service on Mr Duprey’s behalf. Mr Duprey has lived abroad for a number of years. I am asking that this matter be put until Friday 8th before this commission so that Andrew Mitchell (Duprey’s lead attorney) can address you.”
Peter Carter, attorney for the commission, argued that because the summonses have not been personally served he doubted there was a legal basis for them to be compelled to appear. He also told Colman he (Colman) had the powers of the High Court when it came to summoning witnesses. He said: “Mr Luckhoo is correct that the witness summons issued on the February 28 has not been served on Mr Duprey.
“It has been endorsed but it has not been personally served and then there is the serious question that in any event there can be substitute service for a witness summoned. “In my view, the witness has to be served personally because failure to comply with the summons carries with it potential criminal sanctions. So the witness summons should be properly served.” Carter added: “You also issued a witness summons against Mr Monteil but also has not been personally served. I have no idea why he has not been served personally.
“I also had a discussion with Mr Daly yesterday about the application he proposes to make which is to be made on Friday morning which will be either the witness summons be set aside or that there be a ruling that Mr Monteil should not be required physically to go into the witness box and answer any questions. “The proposal I have made is Friday should be used for directions because it is a complicated issue. It involves constitutional issues.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) auditor Gerald Olliverre who testified for a second day said he could not speak on behalf of the business decisions made in the CL Financial Group. Edwin Glasgow, attorney for the commission, was asking about the use to which CL Financial’s Republic Bank Limited (RBL) shares were put. “One of the problems was when the need really did arise and matters became crucial and the client had to go cap-in-hand to the Government, the crown jewels proved not to be saleable.”
Olliverre replied: “I am not fully aware of the circumstances of what occurred and their attempts to sell the RBL shares.” Glasgow said: “You were being told persistently by Mr Michael Cabello and others do not worry all is well and we have got the crown jewels which we will sell but when they actually needed money to the extent they had to borrow it from the Government, the crown jewels did not provide a solution.”
Olliverre responded: “I am not sure of the decision-making there.”
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