CMU president cries foul

University head says investigations bordering on personal attacks and tantamount to harassment

Senior staff reporter

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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PRESIDENT of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) Dr Fritz Pinnock has intimated that there could be other motives which have led to the Financial Investigations Division (FID) securing a court order to obtain documents from the institution, as part of its ongoing investigations.

The probe is linked to allegations of corruption connected to the former education minister, Ruel Reid, who was asked by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in March to resign.

Dr Pinnock told the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) yesterday that the investigations were bordering on personal attacks and “tantamount to harassment” in some instances.

He denied reports that the investigators were being obstructed, claiming that the CMU has complied, and that only 61 out of more than 600 documents requested are still outstanding.

“We have complied... there must have been other motives [involved]. It's not that we don't want to hand over the documents, but the process was irregular. We have seen a lot of times in this country where people's rights are abused – we need to follow proper procedure. We are challenging the procedural aspect, it's not about the documents,” he told the committee.

The FID has engaged private counsel, instead of the Attorney General's Chambers in the matter, a move which the PAAC said is further cause for concern.

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