PORT OF SPAIN — Former CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey has been summoned to appear before the Clico/HCU commission of enquiry next Tuesday.
Andre Monteil, former group financial director, has also been summoned to appear on the same day. Sir Anthony Colman, chair of the commission, yesterday granted an order applied for by Gerald Ramdeen, junior counsel to the enquiry.
Ramdeen said: “We invite you to exercise your powers, under Section 11 of the Commission of the Enquiry Act, to compel the attendance of Mr Lawrence Duprey and Mr Andre Monteil by issuing summonses to both these men.
The grounds for the request, he said, were: “Mr Duprey and Monteil have both participated in proceedings before this commission from inception and both of them have taken full advantage during that time of cross-examining witnesses who have been good enough to attend the enquiry.”
Ramdeen said after more than 24 months of the enquiry, on January 22, Duprey’s legal team had written to the commission saying Duprey would be withdrawing from any further participation.
He said: “It is indeed unfortunate that both Mr Monteil and Mr Duprey have now, at this 11th hour, taken this position of not testifying before your enquiry, having both been given the fullest opportunity to participate since the inception.
“We invite you to find, based upon the evidence given before your commission, that both of them were individuals that were central to the events that you are required to look into, by virtue of your terms of reference.
“The public interest would require that a public order be made by you to Mr Duprey and Mr Monteil to appear before you and give evidence.”
Ramdeen added: “The actions of Mr Duprey and Mr Monteil suggest that they are not prepared to voluntarily come before you and give evidence and in those circumstances we ask you to exercise those powers vested in you to compel their attendance by issuing those summonses.”
Colman said: “So far as Mr Duprey is concerned, he had first indicated that he was prepared to appear and give evidence. The commission at that stage did not submit any subpoena against him.
“The commission having not issued those orders against him was directly a consequence of the undertaking which was given to appear before the enquiry. “Now that undertaking has been withdrawn, it seems to me now that an order needs to be made against him and that he should appear.”
Ramdeen responded: “Mr Monteil’s position is different to that of Mr Duprey, in that because Mr Monteil was never made a party to your commission.” But Colman described Monteil as a “potential participant” and said he saw no reason why an order should not also be made against Monteil for the same date. Last November 8, just before the start of the tenth evidence hearing in December, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard announced that the police had started a criminal investigation into individuals and corporate entities involved in the collapse of Clico and related companies. (Guardian)