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Case against Dyoll execs discontinued

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, August 04, 2012    

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THE prosecution of Mark Thwaites, his wife and two other high-level employees of the collapsed Dyoll Insurance Company Ltd on charges that they breached the Insurance Act has been discontinued.

The four will no longer be prosecuted on the matter in light of a ruling by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that upheld a previous Supreme Court decision that it is unconstitutional for laws to be passed to make criminal charges retroactive.

Thwaites, a former director and chief operating officer of Dyoll; his wife Catherine Parke-Thwaites; former chairman James Morrison; and financial controller Dyoll worker Debbie-Ann Hyde were charged with making a false representation.

The four were charged in 2005 in relation to information given to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) that there would be an injection of $150 million into the company that fell into trouble due to a rash of insurance claims in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Some time after, the accused persons took the matter to the Full Court, contending that the section of the FSC Act under which they were charged was not in effect at the time of the alleged offences. The questionable section of the Act came into effect in August 2006.

The four were successful in the Full Court, prompting an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General.

The court, in ruling in favour of the accused persons, awarded costs in their favour.

Queens Counsel Winston Spaulding; Frank Phipps, QC; Patrick Atkinson, QC; attorney Garth McBean; Kathryn Phipps; and Deborah Martin appeared for the four.

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