Judge gets time and money

| 22/01/2009

(CNS):  Following reports that Justice Priya Levers had been awarded her costs and that the tribunal had been postponed on CNS earlier this week, her legal team, led by Anthony Akiwumi at Stuarts Walker Hersant, has confirmed in an official statement that the hearing has been adjourned until May and that, in a significant move by the tribunal, Justice Levers has been awarded the funding to defend herself against the accusations. 

In a statement to the media on Wednesday afternoon, 21 January, Akiwumi explained the reason for the delay was related to the pursuit of costs by Justice Levers.

“The fact finding hearing before the Tribunal of Inquiry, chaired by Sir Andrew Leggatt, will now commence on 7th May 2009. The delay in proceedings was occasioned by the lack of consensus between Madam Justice Levers’ legal advisers and HE The Governor on the on the issue of his liability to fund the considerable costs incurred by Madam Justice Levers as a direct result of the proceedings initiated by the Governor on 12th September 2008, “ he stated.

“Given this lack of consensus, the issue of funding was referred to the Tribunal of Inquiry for resolution. On 12th January 2009 at a hearing held in London, the Tribunal of Inquiry resolved the issue in favour of Madam Justice Levers. This was an important issue because the costs of her legal representation in the Tribunal of Inquiry will be substantial and the unanimous decision of the Tribunal of Inquiry in Madam Justice Levers favour is significant.”

Akiwumi confirmed that Justice Levers was continuing the legal fight to clear her name and welcomed the opportunity presented by the Tribunal of Inquiry to vigorously contest the unwarranted allegations of misbehaviour made against her with the help of her experienced legal team.

CNS understands that the tribunal has awarded Justice levers 75% of her costs on a month to month basis and the retained 25% shall be given to her once the tribunal is concluded should it be in her favour. As reported on CNS on Tuesday, Levers is likelyto seek damages which would see the costs of this tribunal to the Caymanian people soar.

Coupled with the unlawful arrest of Justice Alex Henderson, the suspension without charge of former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan followed by his dismissal from office, along with the suspension without charge of Chief Superintendent John Jones, who remains on full paid leave, this could add up to a very expensive legal bill handed to the CI government as a result of decisions by the current Governor Stuart Jack before he leaves office in July.

The governor’s office has still not made any official statements regarding Justice Levers’ Tribunal, relating to either the postponement or the award of costs despite pledging to keep the Cayman public, who will eventually foot the bill, informed of the developments relating to Justice Levers’ suspension and tribunal.

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