Norton Hinds walks out of court; ordered to returnThursday, November 17, 2011
BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
BUSINESSMAN Norton Hinds and his attorney Seymour Stewart walked out of the Supreme Court for a few minutes this afternoon to attend the Court of Appeal despite Justice Lennox Campbell refusing to allow them to leave.
Justice Campbell had bound them to stay in the Supreme Court after the prosecution said that Hinds would be the first witness to be questioned in the Trafigura scandal of 2006.
But after the exit, Justice Campbell said that Hinds had better be present when his questioning was to start.
Justice Campbell has said that he would not stay the matter until the appellate court orders him to.
Norton returned a few minutes later and took the witness box, while his attorney made an application for him to be released.
The application was denied and he began giving evidence.
This morning Justice Campbell ruled that People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller, other PNP figures and Hinds should be questioned in relation to the Trafigura scandal.
Their lawyers had been arguing that the court had no jurisdiction for the matter to continue and that their constitutional rights would be breached if they were compelled to give evidence in the Dutch authorities’ investigation of the $31-million donation to the PNP by Trafigura.
Justice Campbell granted permission for his ruling to be appealed, but said he would be proceeding with the matter.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal is this afternoon hearing an application from lawyers for Simpson Miller; party chairman Robert Pickersgill; former minister of energy Phillip Paulwell; former information minister Colin Campbell; and Hinds challenging the ruling by Justice Campbell on Tuesday to allow the questioning to continue.
Portia, others to be questioned over Trafigura