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Jun 2, 2005

D.F.C. Commission Chair pushes for disclosure

In an update to what is becoming the hottest soap opera in Belmopan, the Commission of Inquiry investigating the financial affairs of the Development Finance Corporation has taken another legal turn. But in a weird twist of events, the commission has fired off a press release this week questioning what it says was the “unauthorized” appearance of the Solicitor General at a Supreme Court motion… a motion commission chairman David Price says they have yet to be officially informed of.

According to the release, “The Commission of Inquiry did not engage the Solicitor General to represent the commission in the Supreme Court in this application. The Commission of Inquiry did not direct nor authorise the Solicitor General to make any undertaking on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry to the Supreme Court or to the D.F.C.”

In speaking with News Five, Price maintained that he only got wind of what was happening via radio reports, but neither himself, his fellow commissioners, nor the secretary of the secretariat were served with notice or official documentation relating to the court action.

Published reports in the media claim that attorney Michel Chebat, representing D.F.C.’s C.E.O., Troy Gabb, had appeared before Justice Samuel Awich asking for a ruling that definitively determines whether the Commission of Inquiry Act supersedes that of the Secrecy Clause of the D.F.C. Act.

Today, Chairman Price told us that so far all he has been forwarded is a copy of a letter sent to Kirk Anderson, Director of Public Prosecutions from Chebat informing Anderson that an application had been made to the Supreme Court for an interpretation of the D.F.C. Act on the twenty-seventh of June. That application was brought before Justice Awich on the thirtieth and thirty-first. Price says according to that letter, Solicitor General Elson Kaseke made an undertaking that no prosecution would be made against any D.F.C. officers, including Troy Gabb, until the judge had made a decision on the matter.

It is that point which has Price peeved. The Chairman reiterates that the commission never directed or authorised the SolGen to make such a promise and maintains that the decision is not binding and therefore the commission reserves the right to proceed with arresting Gabb, under the rights of the Commission of Inquiry Act. We understand that Price’s letter has been copied to several people, including D.P.P. Kirk Anderson, Michel Chebat, and Troy Gabb.

But as some independent analysts maintain, with allegations of the gross financial mismanagement of millions of dollars of D.F.C. monies stretching into the upper echelons on government, perhaps the government’s lawyer, that is the Solicitor General, isn’t the best choice as the commission’s legal advisor.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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