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Jun 26, 1998

Musa’s judicial review application suffers setback

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In news from the political arena, the application for judicial review of the appointment of the latest commission of inquiry probing P.U.P. leader Said Musa’s handling of the Economic Citizenship Programme, hit a snag in the Supreme Court this morning. Lawyers representing Musa came to the courthouse expecting a ruling on their application filed against Harry Lui and William Tillett on Monday, but the verdict was not to be… at least not today.

Lisa Shoman, Defense Attorney

“The issue of granting leave for judicial review has not yet been aired and so as not to make any comment on what his lordship is going to do, and we believe that it will be early next week, at this point it’s sufficient to say we are awaiting his lordship’s ruling on certain legal arguments made preliminary to his decision as to whether he will grant judicial review. So we expect a ruling on judicial review to be next week.”

Q: “You care to elaborate on what are some of those legal technicalities that are now being looked at?”

Lisa Shoman

“Just to say that there are some matters which we took in relation to joinder of certain parties, and Mr. Ghandi took certain positions on them and we will just be looking at that next week.”

Appearing on behalf of the Commissioners was Solicitor General Gian Ghandi who argued that Musa’s application for judicial review was in breech of the constitution and therefore not valid. On a technical objection, Ghandi pointed out that the commission of inquiry was appointed by the Prime Minister and is therefore a creature of the state. Any action against the commission, Ghandi argued, should have been made in the name of the Attorney General and not commissioners Lui and Tillett as the P.U.P. application did. Realizing the mistake, defense attorneys Lisa Shoman and Fred Lumor, attempted to have the original motion amended to include the Attorney General, but Ghandi again objected, saying the entire procedure was improperly commenced in the first place. Justice Manuel Sosa has reserved ruling on the preliminary technical arguments for sometime next week.

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