SVG

Ex-PM Mitchell loses appeal in Ottley Hall Inquiry case

Former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell (File photo by Ovid Burke).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell has lost his appeal in a case that had led to a halt in proceedings at the Ottley Hall Commission of Inquiry.

The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in a June 25 judgement dismissed Sir James’ appeal against Justice Gertel Thom’s decision not to grant review of Ephraim Georges, the sole commissioner appointed to inquire into the failure of the Ottley Hall and Union Island marina projects.

The Inquiry was launched in 2003 to inquire into the facts and circumstances of the projects.

The Ottley Hall Marina, which was build in 1993 when Mitchell’s New Democratic Party was in office, was subsequently valued at between EC$3.5 million and EC$7 million but left the nation with a debt of EC$200 million.

Mitchell was prime minster when both projects were built.

The terms of reference for the Inquiry authorised Georges to, among other things, inquire into bona fides and circumstances surrounding the projects.

According to the judgement, the commissioner was to report immediately in writing to the Governor-General and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) any facts or circumstances or evidence that might give rise to, show, or establish that any criminal act might have been committed and in any event he was to issue an interim report within six months of the date of the establishment of the commission.

Georges issued to the Governor-General and the DPP a “Report of Possible Criminal Acts or Offences by Certain Individuals”.

The report contained a number of allegations adverse to Mitchell and he sought juridical review to quash the interim report and to restrain Georges from continuing with the inquiry.

Mitchell complained that the report contained conclusionary statements and findings against him.

They were arrived at without his having been given an opportunity to respond to any charges prior to the findings being made.

According to the judgement, “the learned trial judge was justified in finding as she did that the fair-minded and informed observer would not conclude that there was a real possibility that the Commissioner was biased, or that there has been procedural unfairness.

The justices, however, did not make any order as to cost, ruling, “Public interest litigation should not normally be inhibited by questions of costs.”

Attorney Joseph Delves, a lawyer for the Inquiry, last November gave an undertaking on behalf of Georges not to commence any hearing of the inquiry that may affect former Mitchell until the hearing of an appeal.

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Discussion

11 thoughts on “Ex-PM Mitchell loses appeal in Ottley Hall Inquiry case

  1. My half-hearted rating is due to omissions or poor grammar.

    Posted by Jeannine James | June 27, 2012, 10:49
    • However, moving to the substance of the report, do I detect a variant of a “Vincentian Spring”?

      Posted by Jeannine James | June 27, 2012, 11:03
  2. You CAN DELAY the PROCESS but not FOREVER.

    We the TAXPAYERS of this NATION want to know EVERY DETAIL of what HAPPENED in that OTTLEY HALL FIASCO.

    James MITCHELL, ARNHIM EUSTACE and the NDP have to ANSWER to this NATION in this MATTER. We will NOT ACCEPT NOTHING LESS.

    How could a PROJECT VALUED at some 5 to 10 million DOLLARS COST the TAXPAYERS of this NATION 200 MILLION DOLLARS?

    This is the BIGGEST CORRUPTION SCANDAL IN the HISTORY of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we the PEOPLE want the GOVERNMENT to get to the BOTTOM OF IT.

    No kind of DELAY TACTIC like REFUSING to TESTIFY VOLUNTARILY to the COMMISSIONER of INQUIRE by James Mitchell and all the other TAINTED NDP OFFICIALS will STOP this INQUIRY from GOING FORWARD.

    I know this is one of the REASONS why Eustace and NDP so want to get into government, because they want to STOP this INQUIRY from GOING FORWARD. They’re AFRAID of what the NATION will FIND out as to what led to the BIGGEST CORRUPT SCANDAL in the HISTORY of SVG.

    Some of them PROBABLY are AFRAID that BELLE ISLE will be their PERMANENT HOME once the INQUIRY is COMPLETED, so that is why they had SCL HELPING them to PLAY PARTISAN POLITICS with the REFERENDUM EXERCISE, because the NDP wants to KEEP the PRIVY COUNCIL as the LAST COURT of APPEAL.

    Moreover, they wanted to win the general election as well, because they had EVERY INTENTION of STOPPING the INQUIRY, thus the NATION would not know the DETAILS of what happened in the BIGGEST CORRUPTION SCANDAL in the HISTORY of this NATION that is the OTTLEY HALL PROJECT.

    The FANATICAL NDPITES are so CLUELESS as to what is going on that you have to FEEL SORRY for them at times.

    The NDP doesn’t want to get into office to make the COUNTRY BETTER. They want to get into OFFICE to CONTINUE what they were PRACTICING before the ROAD BLOCK REVOLUTION.

    Moreover, they have BILLS to PAY, like the MILLIONS of DOLLARS INVESTED in their CAMPAIGN by FOREIGNERS. So if Vincentians think that things will be BETTER with the NDP, those who believe that that FARCE are some of the MOST NAIVE and GULLIBLE PEOPLE that we have on PLANET EARTH.

    The NDP RECORD of 17 years is there for everyone to SCRUTINIZED. I can tell you that it is not a PRETTY PICTURE, especially when you have EUSTACE always BRAGGING about having a SURPLUS.

    The NDP is practically OWNED by FOREIGNERS and they have a DEBT to PAY. The only how they can PAY that DEBT is to get into OFFICE. So this is not about making SVG BETTER. This is about PAYING OFF FOREIGNERS and LINING their POCKETS.

    Again, WE THE PEOPLE OF ST. VINCENT and the GRENADINES want this COMMISSIONER OF INQUIRY into the OTTLEY HALL MARINA PROJECT, the BIGGEST CORRUPTION SCANDAL in the HISTORY of SVG, to CONTINUE to the END.

    Again ,we’re taking about a PROJECT that was valued at 5 to 10 MILLION DOLLARS costing this NATION 200 MILLION DOLLARS.

    Yes, ANSWERS are NEEDED…WE THE PEOPLE are DEMANDING IT.

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | June 27, 2012, 12:21
  3. PETER, STEVEN HUGGINS AND ALL THE SUPPORTERS WHO COME HERE AND DEFEND THE Nasty Dirty Party we need answers for this report…. King Dotish is one of them…..Mitchell couldn’t handle the heat and King Dotish were so happy to call Prime Minister of SVG so Mitchell resign and stuff this down king dotish throat..

    Peter list the projects this money spend on,,,at least we seeing where the ULP money spending….

    Posted by D.G.A.F | June 27, 2012, 14:47
  4. BUCCAMENT IS THE NEXT OTTLEY HALL. Again half a dozen of this and six of the other. The legal system is weak: some laws that should be in place are no-existence; some laws are not enforced; there is the possibility of political interference in the judiciary; and the brotherhood and sisterhood continue to rule. The whole political system in SVG needs and over-haul to have fairness and justice. There is more FRAUD in SVG than other illicit activities. I AM NOT AFRAID AND NEVER WIIL BE and the the powers that exist know that the whole system is corrupt and to their individual benefits.

    I AM NOT A MEMBER OF NO POLITICAL PARTY IN SVG. I CALL IT AS I SEE IT.

    All unfair games have to be replayed and what goes around comes around. It is a question of time.

    I urge my vincentian brothers and sisters to do your personal analysis, research and investigation. Some journalist may know the facts but have been compromised and or to afraid to communicate the facts and real situation.

    Posted by RICARDO FRANCIS | June 28, 2012, 13:23
    • RICARDO FRANCIS, what INVESTMENT OF MONIES does the GOVERNMENT of SVG has in the BUCCAMENT BAY PROJECT for it to be the NEXT OTTLEY HALL?

      Posted by VINCYPOWA | June 30, 2012, 17:58
  5. VINCYPOWA, are you a tax payer in SVG? I will check on that tomorrow. You must be frothing at the mouth, what a coup for you. I agree that if wrong has been done it matters not who you are you must pay the price. But VP you are acting as judge and jury and weaving in the usual lies and general spin.
    Pay the price, that is good for Gonsalves as well as all the rest of us.

    DGAF, you said “list the projects this money spend on,,,at least we seeing where the ULP money spending”
    First tell us about the US$1million cash in a bag came from, that has got to be dirty money, clean money comes via a bank transfer.
    Then tell us about this, I have asked you and VINCYPOWA for your comments on several occasions.
    In 2009, the IADC purchased, from its own resources, 25 pieces of heavy equipment costing EC $12 million, namely: 17 Articulated Trucks; 2 Motors Scrapers; 2 Bulldozers (1 – D8 and 1 – D9); one Caterpillar 345 Excavator; one Caterpillar 330 Excavator, with Hydraulic Hammer; one Wagon Drill; and one Kobelco Crane.
    There is something seriously wrong with this cost [EC$12million]. Its about double what it should be.
    For instance the Terex Articulated trucks are ex British Military and were sold in the UK by UK government appointed agents for 1 £35,000 buy several for £32,000 each, or buy over 10 for $28,000 each.
    A fantastic buy with only 500 to 1000 hours usage, which makes them of almost new condition.
    The trucks at the airport originated from this source, I know because I checked at the time they were purchased posing as another buyer.
    Whichever of the UK government agents you chose to buy from the prices were the same and were set prices, I enquired by three agents.
    The cost of these trucks should be less than EC$2million.
    The other seven pieces of used equipment should not of cost more than EC$5million, and that’s on the high side.
    SOME QUESTION WE WANT ANSWERED
    Did IADC buy this equipment off its own bat, if so who was responsible for arranging and orchestrating the deals?
    Did an SVG government officer and department arrange and conduct the purchase of this equipment?
    Was a Vincentian company or individual or firm involved in these transactions?
    Was any overseas Vincentian individual or company involved in these transactions?
    Was an SVG senator involved in these transactions?
    Was payment made directly to the vending owners or agents or was the purchase made through third party dealers or agents?
    I have official quotations in my posession!

    Posted by Peter | June 28, 2012, 20:53
  6. In fact are you a tax payer anywhere? people who hide in a cloak of anonymity such as you, have a lot to hide.

    Posted by Peter | June 28, 2012, 21:01
  7. I notice Vincypowa and D.G.A.F ain’t answering the questions put forward by PETER….Bunch of bootlickers.

    Posted by Observer. | July 10, 2012, 21:24
  8. My parochial, partisan, misguided countryman D.G.A.F., I do not believe that even his sometimes political opponent Ralph Gonsalves has politically blasted “Son” Mitchell as strongly as I have. I have been merciless in my consistent criticism of the man and politician. However, I am not utterly devoid of the simple milk of human charity. I do not blast a man when he is down. Like Peter, I favour letting the jurisdical process run its course, unlike the celebrated FIVE RAPE CASES. I have some miniscule legal training, inter alia, and have always favoured respecting the convention on sub judice. My comments should not seek to improperly influence the court or poison the jury pool. Let the man have his day in court. Indeed, I sometimes muse over establishing jurisdiction to bring certain actions against him on behalf of the Vincentian people – – – if only to shed light on several impactful historical occurences.

    You might like to note that the opportunistic Ralphie recently paid him, via one of his prominent family members, for some sort of follow-up payment on, I believe, the Bequia airport lands. If your pagan political idol Ralphie feels so strongly about OTTLEY HALL, UNION ISLAND, etc., THEN why ON EARTH did he make those subsequent ‘payments’ ? Why didn’t the COMMUNIST HIGH PRIEST delay any payments “IN TRUST”, until all such accusations of political corruption, impropriety, et al, were satisfactority cleared up – – – in order to ENSURE COURT PAYMENTS TO PEOPLE OF SVG should that eventuality arise ?

    Did the ‘meeting’ on the beach of Grenada have any perceivable influence in that incongruous appearing deed ?

    After all, D.G.A.F., you and your white maasa idol, cannot BLOW HOT AND COLD in such substantive matters. YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Such as eating your logical cake and still having it {whole], too.

    You might have heard the politically muling infant, in his latter days of glory, belatedly promulgating that he had a black grandfather. I beg to differ. This would stand only if he was, surprisingly, referring to his step-father’s father.
    I would not vouch for any semblance of cordiality in that direction, though.

    You might be beaming to discover that Mitchy aunt Martha was my blood-related cousin. Than, another cousin of mine, Mr. Baynes, married his Mom following the drowning disappearance of his dad at sea. Son sometimes sound psychotic when relating the spurious stories of some superstitious re-appearance of his father on a make-believe submarine, etc. So, I am twice related to him, though not by blood. Yet I feel that he was our worst political leader or prime minister – – – NEXT TO THE AVOWED MARXIST-LENINIST COMMUNIST ralphie the Gunzy. And, I have minced no words in saying such, repeatedly, over the years. You and the Commie wouldn’t ever say that.

    Yet, again, we both lost a relative, his dear sister – – – my beloved cousin, recently, out of country. So, I have been trying over the nearly a year to avoid blasting him too hard, politically, during this period of mourning. With some decided diffficulty. And, I have had some even more significant losses, and even disasters, in the interim. Why should I engage in glorying in the man’s legal set-back in this point in time ? Let justice run its course.

    I hope to institute a solid STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON RAPE in the revised LAWS OF SVG. And, I will deem to borrow a sad precedent from Jamesie. WITH RETRO-ACTIVITY. The NEW Statute of Limitations on RAPE, yes, RETROACTIVELY. You dig beats ?!

    I refuse to lift my hands against James Mitchell now that he is down, legally. I will not be goaded by you. I shall still trust in the Courts of Law and general legal system. My political differences with him will not influence me into such degenerate impropriety and unethical conduct. I know that you are exposed to poorer leadership and flawed decision making, up close. You need to benefit from my type of true, genuine, principle. The ultra left are politically amoral; they have no true moral principles. I strive to be cut from a different genre of cloth. Abandon the God-communists and corrupt politicians, my brethren, and learn some wisdom. You wont learn any from the atheistic communist. He done blight aready, and don’t even have a clue.

    Yes, I am almost totally politically opposed to J.F. Mitchell and what he especially represented in the parochial past. But, I will NOT turn like a sibling shark and ATTACK him, politically or otherwise, on account of his present legal troubles. Indeed, this is the only sane, decent, common-sense path to take – – – as the matter is demonstrably still under the proper consideration of the procedural/judicial system, effectivey sub judice. Only a political charlatan would not do or advise otherwise.

    Time to GROW UP.

    Quo Vadis, S.V.G.

    The real enemy of the good people of SVG is the campaign to TOTALLY COMMUNIZE SVG, akin to the hi-jack and overthrow of the Milton Cato SVG LABOUR PARTY. My compatriot PETER claims that it was an actual nefarious sell-out of the real LABOUR PARTY.

    Is it a case of AS WENT SVLP – – – SO WILL GO SVG ?

    This is a CLARION CALL TO ALL SVG NATIONALISTS : SAVE ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES.

    Every man in the maker of his own destiny.

    Every nation is the defender of its national, political, and constitutional independence.1

    The PRICE of OUR VINCENTIAN FREEDOM, PERSONAL LIBERTIES, AND INDEPENDENCE is OUR ETERNAL VIGILANCE.

    We Vincies MUST KEEP OUR FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE.

    Quo Vadis, SVG ?

    Posted by STEVE_HUGGINS | September 11, 2012, 17:16
  9. Communist Ralphie should take his GRENADA BEACH PAL, ‘Son’ Mitchell, with him on this up-coming, pending trip to OTTAWA, CANADA, to hold urgent, immediate, discussions with the Conservative Party FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, led by Stephen Harper, on the recent Canadian Immigration ministry’s decision to HENCEFORTH REQUIRE VISA DOCUMENTATION FROM SVG PASSPORT HOLDERS TO CANADA.

    This unprecedented step by the official Canadian authorities was formally due to improprieties and uncertainties with regard to our more recent passport holders, according to them. The SVG DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDER being finally caught with COCAINE IN ENGLAND was a glaring case in point. Now, the increased need for greater security with regards to some of our recent passport holders and questionable ‘ideological’ alliances and military pacts would advise ever more enhanced official Canadian vetting of our SVG passport holders.

    High for Ralph to get off his ample back-side and take a long-overdue trip to Ottawa, CANADA, to represent our anomalous case to the very reasonable Canadian immigration and political authorities.

    PRIME MINISTER HARPER is a solid Conservative; he has little in common, ideologically, with the Castro-worshipping upstart Communist ‘comrade’.

    BUT, due to our historic CLOSE RELATIONS WITH CANADA, especially during the terms of both ROBERT MILTON CATO and JAMES FITZ-ALLAN MITCHELL, both PMs married to Canadian citizens, we Vincentians are pragmatically confident that the Government and People of CANADA would but look extremely favourably on our case and mitigating national circumstances.

    Communism means FAILURE.

    Communism is a FORM OF CANCER.

    This 21st Century calls for intelligent PRAGMATISM and GLOBAL FREE ENTERPRISE from SVG and its political leaders.

    Sense mek a long, long, time BEFORE ‘book’.

    Communist ralphie’s overlong ‘internship’ has been nothing but completely UNPRODUCTIVE, and must be cancelled forthwith.

    Posted by STEVE_HUGGINS | September 23, 2012, 16:04

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