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AG dismisses criticisms over Jones

Friday, March 4, 2016
Faris Al-Rawi, Malcolm Jones

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is dismissing criticisms by some over the State’s decision to discontinue the lawsuit against former executive chairman of Petrotrin Malcolm Jones.

The billion dollar case for negligence over the company’s failed low sulphur diesel plant was brought against Jones under former attorney general Anand Ramlogan.

Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge and others have criticised Al-Rawi for the discontinuance of the case, saying Jones had questions to answer. 

However, Al- Rawi, in a statement, said those views of Sturge and former attorney general Garvin Nicholas were “entirely unsustainable.”

A release from the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs said: “The issue at hand is why was the relevant and material evidence in the arbitration proceedings that directly impacted the Petrotrin vs Jones litigation suppressed.”

The release added the AG and the Petrotrin board “accepted” the advice of Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Vincent Nelson, “whose unequivocal and clear opinion was and is that the matter against Mr Jones was unsustainable.”

The release said the claim against Jones was initiated on May 3, 2013 on the basis of written advice by Vincent Nelson, QC, and Russell Martineau, SC, who both opined that there was a prima facie civil case under the Companies Act to be answered by Jones for an alleged breach of duty of care and diligence as a director and executive chairman of Petrotrin in relation to the Gas to Liquid Project.

It said the High Court proceeding against Jones is and was directly and intimately related to the WGTL Arbitration Proceedings against Petrotrin which commenced in two phases and which were heard in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The release said Jones specifically relied in his defence to the claim against him upon the evidence in arbitration proceedings. 

The AG statement said, however, that “none of the material in the arbitration proceedings was disclosed by Petrotrin in the High Court proceedings and did not form part of the case record at the High Court.”