Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Judgment day for Ferguson

Ruling on Section 34 appeal next week

THE Appeal Court will deliver its judgment next Wednesday in a matter involving businessman Steve Ferguson, Ameer Edoo and three companies who are challenging the repeal of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011.

In October last year, Justices Allan Mendonca, Peter Jamadar and Gregory Smith reserved the courtís ruling following days of lengthy submissions by attorneys for both the appellants and the State.

Ferguson, Edoo and the companies filed the appeal after High Court judge Justice Mira Dean-Armorer on April 5, last year, dismissed a constitutional motion they had filed challenging Governmentís decision to repeal Section 34.

Section 34 provided an avenue for people charged with certain offences, including fraud, to have their matters dismissed by a High Court judge, provided the charges were more than ten years old.

Following the proclamation of Section 34 in 2012, Ferguson and Edoo along with several other men and companies filed applications at the High Court to have several fraud-related charges against them dismissed.

The charges stemmed from the construction of the new $1.6 billion Piarco International Airport. The application for dismissal was made prior to the section being repealed.

The appellants are contending the repeal of the section had breached separation of power principles and that of legitimate expectation.