PRIME MINISTER Portia Simpson Miller and other People's National Party (PNP) officials will now have to give witness statements in open court in relation to the Trafigura probe by Dutch authorities.
The PM and the others were yesterday ordered to give the statements after the Constitutional Court ruled that their constitutional rights will not be breached if they give the statements in open court.
The court also said that the group failed to prove with "cogent and credible evidence" that they are entitled, as a matter of law, to the relief they are seeking.
Lawyers representing Simpson Miller and her colleagues will now have to consult with their clients to determine if the ruling will be appealed.
The court had reserved judgement on the matter from last year October.
Simpson Miller, PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill, Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell, former Information Minister Colin Campbell and businessman Norton Hinds had been contending that their constitutional rights would be breached if they were compelled to give statements, as they have been considered suspects in the Trafigura case.
But the prosecution, which represents the Dutch authorities probing the case of bribery regarding the oil firm Trafigura Beheer BV, argued that there are no constitutional rights to be breached as the five are not suspects, among other things.
In 2011, the five obtained an order from the Court of Appeal that halted the questioning in court, pending the outcome of the constitutional matter.
The order, granted by Justice Roy Anderson in 2010, which compels the five to give the statements at the Supreme Court, was sought by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Dutch authorities after Simpson Miller and her colleagues reportedly refused to answer the questions in relation to Trafigura's $31-million donation to the PNP. At the time, Trafigura had an oil-lifting agreement with the Jamaican Government which was formed by the PNP.
The PNP had said the money was a donation, but Trafigura claimed that the money was payment on a commercial agreement.
The ensuing scandal resulted in Campbell resigning his Cabinet post and position of general secretary of the PNP. It also played a major role in the PNP's loss in the 2007 general elections.