Justice Levers will fight on

| 25/11/2008

(CNS): Despite the fact that Justice Alex Henderson has returned to work and the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) has reportedly turned its back on its investigations into the country’s judiciary, the Cayman court system is still down one of its most widely respected judges. Justice Priya Levers is facing a tribunal over unspecified allegations and, according to sources close to the judge, she intends to fight on despite some questionable issues regarding the evidence.

Although rumours have persisted that a settlement had been discussed, CNS has learned that this is not the case and that Justice Levers is exceptionally keen to clear her name of what are considered by many to be spurious accusations and return to the bench and the work she loves as soon as possible.The tribunal was originally set to commence Monday, 24 November. However, it was announced on 16 October by the Governor’s office that the hearing was being moved to 23 February 2009, although CNS has learned that Justice Levers’ team is still waiting on some evidence regarding the accusations against her.

Concerns have been also been raised about the behaviour of some employees in the Legal Services Department who have reportedly copied personal papers without Justice Levers’ permission and which have now turned up in the tribunal evidence. Of particular concern is how the Chief Justice’s office has obtained a copy of private documentation concerned with Justice Levers’ last requests in the event of her death. One source has told CNS that she is very upset and disturbed that such personal and private correspondence meant for members of her family and her executers alone has been copied by staff at the courts and has now found its way into the alleged evidence against her.

Although the details of the accusations made against Justice Levers have yet to be made public, sources close to events told CNS that they have no justification and that the Justice enjoys wide support from the legal community.

The official announcement that accusations had been made against JusticeLevers, questioning her behaviour, was made on 16 September when the Governor said she was suspended as a result of certain complaints brought to his attention earleir this year.

“Having given the matter the most careful consideration I have appointed a Tribunal under the relevant provisions of the Constitution to inquire into the matter and report back to me,” the Governor had said at the time when he suspended her from performing her judicial functions whilst the process unfolds.

According to the terms of reference of the tribunal it will carry out a "…factual investigation and report to the Governor whether the conduct of Madam Justice Levers taken as a whole has fallen below the standard reasonably to be expected of a holder of the office of Judge of the Grand Court so as to warrant proceedings for her removal…”

In response, Justice Levers spoke through her legal representative at the time denying any misbehaviour and said, with the assistance of her experienced legal team, she intended to vigorously defend all the allegations made against her to the fullest extent permissible by the law. The lawyers also noted that the scope of the inquiry had already completely exonerated Madame Justice Levers from any financial impropriety or irregularity implied by some media reports. CNS has also learned that Justice Levers has requested an open hearing in the interest of justice and transparency. CNS has made attempts to contact Justice Levers directly regarding her case and the exposure of her private correspondence and is still awaiting her comment regarding these matters.

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