Wheatley files claim for judicial review

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Wheatley files claim for judicial review

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley today filed a claim in the Supreme Court for the judicial review of the Integrity Commissions' Petrojam oil refinery report and its findings.

This follows last week's publication of the report, which accused Wheatley of nepotism, cronyism and dishonesty on his part.

“It is the conclusion of the director of investigations that Dr Wheatley was dishonest in his aforementioned representations and, in this regard, sought to mislead and did mislead the director of investigation contrary to Section 48 (3) of the Integrity Commission Act, Section 11E of the Commission of Enquiry Act, and Section 4 of the Perjury Act,” the commission stated in the report last week.

The claim was filed by his legal representative, Chukwuemeka Cameron, on the basis that there were “no reasonable grounds for suspecting that Dr Wheatley perjured himself, as such the action of referring the matter to the director of corruption prosecution was irrational and ultra vires”.

Wheatley, in his claim, argues that “where a report calls a person's reputation into question in a direct way, both that person and the public generally have an interest in ensuring that any criticism is made upon a proper legal basis. It would be contrary to the public interest if the courts were not prepared to protect the right to reputation in such a context”.

Wheatley, by way of an application for leave for judicial review, is challenging the lawfulness and fairness of conclusions made by the commission.

He is asking the court for an order of Mandamus requiring the director of investigation to recommend to the commission to publicly exonerate him of allegations concerning acts of impropriety and nepotism. In addition, his lawyer wants an order quashing the adverse conclusions, recommendations and findings made against the applicant that were not grounded in fact nor law.

Wheatley is claiming that the conclusions, recommendations and criticisms made of him in the report are invalid and were not made upon a proper legal basis.

A declaration that the decision of the respondent to refer the report to the director of corruption prosecution was ultra vires and irrational, is also being sought.


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