CWI to face legal action unless Cameron is given copy of report


CWI to face legal action unless Cameron is given copy of report

Friday, May 22, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Lawyers for controversial former Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Dave Cameron have demanded a copy of the board's recent audit report or say they will take legal action against the regional governing body.

Veteran counsel Tony Astaphan, a member of Cameron's legal team, rubbished some of the findings of the report as “seriously lacking credibility” and said the Jamaican administrator was entitled to a copy so he could defend himself.

CWI President Ricky Skerritt said in a statement last Sunday that a review of the body's financial management systems conducted last year by the accounting and management consulting firm Pannell Kerr Foster (PKF) had “uncovered some illustrations of questionable executive standards and practices”.

“Mr Cameron and other directors, some of whom are still sitting on the board, have spoken to me and indicated to me certain matters that have raised the concern and pushed us to the forefront of writing Cricket West Indies to demand a copy of the report within some period of time and give us the opportunity to respond,” Astaphan told the Mason and Guest show here.

“I will address the issue of credibility and response to whether the findings and the allegations were justifiable when I see the report and I see what it is that the auditors relied on.

“The president tells us that [PKF] uncovered these things, do you understand the implication of this word 'uncovered'? It means it was hidden from all of the directors including the president and vice-president when they sat there when they voted at meetings and I want to know what was that word meant to mean.”

He continued: “I've heard talk about questionable practices… I've heard talk about money laundering and I just want to make the record very clear… I'm not accepting that the findings of this report are credible or true.

“I have grave suspicions based on what I was told by directors and the only way to resolve this issue is for CWI to give us a copy of the report and the opportunity to review it within the context of the minutes and the other aspects that would've been critical in coming to a conclusion.”

The report was first brought to light by international television broadcaster Michael Holding who obtained a copy and quoted from sections on a Youtube cricket show, querying why CWI had chosen not to make the findings public.

However, Skerritt subsequently pointed out that the report had been for internal use only but now it had been leaked, CWI would consider a public release of the document, especially since the board had taken no decision to “to hide, conceal, withhold or hold back the PKF report”.

The Antigua-based legal firm Thomas John and Company, which is also representing Cameron, said in a letter to CWI that the report needed to be provided in 24 hours and Cameron given 21 days to respond.

Further, the letter warned that if CWI sought to make public the findings before Cameron was issued with the report, legal action would ensue.

“In the circumstances, and having regard to the basic principles of fairness and the right of our client to protect his reputation, our client demands, without prejudice to any rights he may now have, a full copy of this report within 48 hours, and the right to respond fully to all of the questions, comments or allegations made by PKF, and statements made by Mr Holding and the president within 21 days,” Cameron's lawyers wrote.

“Should CWI whether by way of the board or management or otherwise seek in the meantime to publish the report, or refuse to meet our client's demands for a copy of the report and time to respond, our client will have no alternative but to seek the appropriate orders and remedies from the High Court.”

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