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Prime Minister cites “technical process” and bemoans “excess” in damages for Commission of Inquiry on the sale of government assets; suggests possible appeal

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Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2022. 3:04 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While not specifically commenting on the merits of the court case involving former Deputy Prime Minister Hugo Patt suing in relation to the Commission of Inquiry report, Prime Minister John Briceño has floated the potential of an appeal.

“…the Attorney General will come to us and make a recommendation… we’ll follow the process and we’ll listen to the advice of the Attorney General and if the advice is for us to appeal that case, we will appeal it. I do hope that the recommendation is for us to appeal the case,” he stated.

He cited Patt’s damages as “excessive” (speaking before today’s judgment of $185,000 was issued in favour of predecessor Dean Barrow).

But he was also keen to maintain that the court victories are hardly absolution: “I think what we are forgetting here [is] that these people are getting away, not because they’re innocent but they’re getting away because of a technical issue, a technical process that was not followed. They’re not saying that they’re not guilty, you know; they’re saying, we [were] not given due process to come and represent ourselves. It is because of that technical error; [that] they are being compensated. But again, unlike the previous government, I will not bash the courts.”

The Commission of Inquiry report will have to be revised, it is believed, to remove any adverse findings against persons mentioned which are not supported by facts. At least one more lawsuit is expected to be filed.

 

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