PORT OF SPAIN — Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard has written to the chairman of the Commission of Enquiry investigating the collapse of CL Financial Ltd, three of its subsidiaries and the Hindu Credit Union calling on him to reconsider his decision to continue the enquiry in public.
Gaspard’s six-page letter sent to Sir Anthony Colman yesterday, a copy of which was obtained by the Express, maintained that the public enquiry had the potential to jeopardise “a potentially strong and credible prosecution” of former CL Financial business executives on the basis of adverse pre-trial publicity.
The DPP’s letter was in response to Colman’s refusal to accede to a request to conduct the “potentially damaging” aspects of the enquiry in private and the “grave inaction” of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to advise President George Maxwell Richards to suspend the enquiry or at least vary the terms of reference of the enquiry.
Both Colman and Ramlogan have insisted it was contrary to the public’s interest to conduct the enquiry in private.
Gaspard wants Colman to state the reasons why the public interest would be better served in continuing the enquiry in public “rather than avoiding the likelihood of a potentially credible prosecution being stayed on the ground that (the) defendants had been prejudiced by publicity caused by your enquiry”.
The letter requested Colman not to make any adverse findings against any person or entity as having committed a criminal offence; make any findings, observations or recommendations as to whether there are any grounds for criminal proceedings against any person or entity; whether criminal proceedings should therefore be recommended to the Director of Public Prosecutions for his consideration; issue any Salmon letters (correspondence to any entity or person outlining potential wrongdoing and calling on them to respond); compel any person to give evidence who has indicated an intention to exercise his or her privilege against self-incrimination.
He also requested that Colman refrain from accepting any evidence which may be the subject of the criminal investigation whether or not it is in the public domain or receive any evidence pertaining to the culpability of any persons or entity leading to the collapse of the financial institutions. (Express)