Express Political Editor Ria Taitt is scheduled to appear before Sir Anthony Colman today, as he attempts to determine her source for a story which reported on the witness statement of Lawrence Duprey to the commission of enquiry into the collapse of CL Financial and the Hindu Credit Union.
Newsday, which also reported on Duprey's witness statement yesterday , has not been summoned to appear before the CL Financial/Hindu Credit Union Commission of Enquiry currently taking place at the Winsure building in Port of Spain.
On Wednesday, the Express exclusively published an article entitled "I did nothing wrong" written by Taitt which detailed several aspects of Duprey's witness statement to the enquiry.
Duprey filed the witness statement on Monday.
Witness statements are only made available to legal representatives at the enquiry when filed.
The legal representatives are bound by a confidentiality clause and are banned from divulging information that has not been made public.
When witnesses appear at the enquiry, their statements are eventually made public.
Colman is now trying to determine how Taitt received Duprey's witness statement.
The issue of the statement being divulged was raised by one of Duprey's attorneys, Lionel Luckhoo, on the day Taitt's article was published.
Taitt yesterday appeared at the enquiry with Express attorney Faarees Hosein in response to a request made by Colman on Wednesday.
Colman asked Hosein if he had any knowledge as to who caused the "diametric breach" of the commission's confidentiality clause.
Hosein said Taitt had declined to "name or identify her source".
Hosein told Colman that yesterday's Newsday also contained portions of Duprey's statement.
"The report in Newsday no doubt is a reaction to the fact that the Express has put the contents of the witness statement into the public domain," Colman said.
Colman said there are only two possible sources for Duprey's witness statement.
"One source is the lawyers representing Mr Duprey or Mr Duprey himself, the other possible source is the lawyers representing one or other of the parties in these proceedings," Colman said. Colman then individually asked each legal team representing parties at the enquiry if they were Taitt's source.
All the legal teams denied being Taitt's source.
Absent yesterday were Martin Daly SC, the leader of the legal team of former CL Financial executive Andre Monteil, Christopher Hamel-Smith for Barbados firm Proman Holdings and Justin Phelps, representing Gita Sakal.
Although Daly was absent, Kimberly Molligan from Stone Street Capital said Daly did not provide Taitt with Duprey's witness statement.
Colman said it was a "very striking thing" that Duprey was highlighted in "the most favourable light possible" in Taitt's article.
Rajiv Persad who led Duprey's legal team in the absence of Andrew Mitchell QC, said they would contact Duprey to see if he divulged the witness statement.
Peter Carter QC said, "There is one person who does know the source of the information and that is Miss Taitt".
"I suggest Sir that you call Miss Taitt to give evidence and ask her the question. Without going through the whole gamut of media law, other than in the United Kingdom, journalists do not have any kind of privilege against disclosure of their sources. They can refuse to answer the question but that does not mean that they have a privilege against refusing the question, " Carter said.
"The only circumstances in which the information should not be provided I suggest is in circumstances where the journalists have good cause to believe that disclosing the information would be covered by one of the well- known categories of public interest immunity," he said.
Carter suggested that Taitt could reveal her source to Colman in private if it was a case of public interest immunity.
Taitt is to appear before Colman today.
Hosein yesterday gave Colman an undertaking that the Express would not publish any other witness statement before the witness appears at the enquiry.